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Penguins look to get defensive against Rangers

Pittsburgh (5-2-1) at NY Rangers (7-2-1), 7:00 pm EDT

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Thanks to the abilities of captain Sidney

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins have developed

the reputation as an explosive offensive club. That, however,

hasn't been their best trait lately.

Yielding just one goal in each of their last three games, the

Penguins hope to continue their stellar defensive play when

visit the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Crosby started slowly this season, failing to score a goal in

Pittsburgh's first five contests. The talented superstar has

come on of late with two tallies in the last three games -

including his 100th career tally on Thursday.

For his part, Malkin has been effective all season and leads the

league with 13 points.

Playing without star blue-liner Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh is

coming off a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on

Thursday. The Penguins also notched a 2-1 triumph over the

Boston Bruins on Monday and a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple

Leafs last Saturday.

Meanwhile, New York had suffered from a mild two-game losing

streak this week before bouncing back with a strong effort on

Friday. Nikolai Zherdev registered one goal and two assists and

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves as the Rangers cruised to a 3-1

victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This game marks the first matchup between the two Eastern

Conference juggernauts since the Penguins eliminated the Rangers

in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.



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