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Round 2 Preview : Penguins vs Rangers

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

1) Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2) vs 2) New York Rangers (4-3)

Series Schedule

GM 1

Fri 5/2 NYR @ PIT, 6:00 PM CDT

GM 2

Sun 5/4 NYR @ PIT, 6:30 PM CDT

GM 3

Mon 5/5 PIT @ NYR, 6:30 PM CDT

GM 4

Wed 5/7 PIT @ NYR, 6:30 PM CDT

GM 5

Fri 5/9 NYR @ PIT, TBD

GM 6

Sun 5/11 PIT @ NYR, TBD

GM 7

Tue 5/13 NYR @ PIT, TBD

Regular Season Results

11/6/2013

@NYR 5, PIT 1

12/18/2013

PIT 4, @NYR 2 (SO)

1/3/2014

@PIT 5, NYR 2

2/7/2014

NYR 4, @ PIT 3 (SO)

Leading Playoff Scorers

PIT

NYR

P

Matt Niskanen, Paul Martin 8

P

Brad Richards, Martin St Louis 6

G

Evgeni Malkin, Jussi Jokinen, Brandon Sutter 3

G

8 players tied with 2

A

Paul Martin, 8

A

Richards, St Louis, Rick Nash 4

Goalie Matchup

Marc-Andre Fleury (4-2, .908 save %, 2.81 GAA, 0 SO) vs Henrik Lundqvist (4-3, .919 save %, 2.11 GAA, 0 SO)

The top two teams from the Metropolitan Division are set to do battle in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fifth time. The Penguins have won all four previous series but will have their hands full this time around.  The Penguins were able to sneak by Columbus in the first round despite a few not so pretty moments from goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.  Sidney Crosby has not scored a goal in ten straight postseason games.  This unlikely slump has Penguins fans booing the best player on the planet and looking up what his buyout would mean to the team on Capgeek.  And you wonder why nobody likes you guys?  Evgeni Malkin scored his first three goals of the playoffs during the series clinching win over the Blue Jackets.  Brandon Sutter has been a pleasant source of offense as he is tied for the team lead in goals with three.

The Rangers are giving hockey fans visions of the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning as Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis were keys to their first round win over the Philadelphia Flyers.  New York has shown some great scoring depth as eight different players have scored two goals, including one Daniel Carcillo.  Henrik Lundqvist is still one of the best goaltenders on the planet and he can be the main difference maker in this matchup.  Much like I couldn't pick Steve Mason over Hank in the first round, I can't bring myself to pick Fleury over him either.  Unless Crosby can go nuts in the series, I am taking the Rangers in seven games.