NEW YORK (KDKA) – After an ugly game against the New York Islanders on Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon.
The Penguins are coming off a 9-3 loss on Long Island in a game where the teams combined for 346 penalty minutes.
Suspensions were handed down to three players late Saturday night for their roles in the various brawls during the game.
Pittsburgh’s Eric Godard received an automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench during a fight in the third period.
Godard came to the aid of goaltender Brent Johnson, who was preparing to engage tough guy Micheal Haley.
For the Islanders, Matt Martin received a four-game suspension for his attempted sucker-punch on Max Talbot in the second period.
Trevor Gillies was suspended for nine games for a deliberate blow to Eric Tangradi’s head. He also started throwing punches as Tangradi fell to the ice in pain.
As a result, Tangradi will not play today against the Rangers and the Penguins were forced to call up Tim Wallace from Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
Chris Conner was a healthy scratch against the Islanders and will take Godard’s spot on the roster.
In addition to Tangradi and Godard being out of the lineup, the Penguins are also without the services of Sidney Crosby (concussion), Evgeni Malkin (knee surgery), Arron Asham (upper-body), Mike Comrie (hip), Dustin Jeffrey (lower body), Chris Kunitz (lower body) and Mark Letestu (lower-body).
Matt Cooke still has two-games remaining on his four-game suspension for hitting Columbus’ Fedor Tyutin into the boards from behind.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two teams this season, with the road team winning each of the previous four.
According to the Penguins official website, Pittsburgh is 10-1-2 in their last 13 games against the Rangers.
New York is dealing with its fair share on injuries as well.
Derek Boogard (shoulder), Chris Drury (knee surgery) and Ruslan Fedotenko (separated shoulder/appendectomy) will not play today. In addition, Alex Frolov (knee) is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
Brandon Dubinsky continues to pace the Rangers in scoring with 19 goals and 22 assists, in 52 games.
Sniper Marian Gaborik isn’t far behind with 16 goals and 20 assists, in only 43 games.
In goal, Henrik Lundqvist (21-18-4) is enjoying another fine season despite the average record. Entering today’s game, he has already recorded seven shutouts this season.
However, he and the Rangers have struggled recently. Lundqvist is 1-4-1 in his last six starts, while the team is 3-6-1 in their last 10.
Against Pittsburgh, King Henrik is 18-13-5 with a 2.41 GAA and .912 save percentage.
The Penguins currently hold a 12-point lead in the standings over the Rangers.
In net, Marc-Andre Fleury (26-13-2, 2.24 GAA, .922 save percentage) is expected to be back between the pipes this afternoon.
Against the Rangers, Fleury is 18-8-7 with a 2.69 GAA and .914 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 3 p.m. and you can watch the game on FSN Pittsburgh.