Rangers look to build on win entering matchup with rival Penguins

Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist has been named starter for the seventh straight game against Pittsburgh.
Credit: Getty Images

Henrik Lundqvist sat at his stall Sunday night and had the look of a man still desperately searching for answers and finding nothing but questions at every turn.

This was a few short moment after the Rangers completed a pulsating, 4-3 come-from-behind shootout victory over Calgary. The win was their first after dropping the first four games during a franchise-record stretch of nine in a row at the Garden.

“It was just a big relief to finally get two points,” Lundqvist said. “It’s a big win for us. We are really disappointed with where we are but we can’t put too much pressure on ourselves. We just have to go out and play our game and take it game-by-game.”

The Rangers (16-17-1) find themselves 10th in the East, fourth in the Metropolitan Division and fourth in the wild-card race as the Penguins come calling Wednesday night.

“We just have to worry about the games coming up,” Derek Dorsett said. “We have a couple days to recover [from the Calgary game] and get to the drawing board and work on some things that we still need to work on. We have to take it day-by-day and get as many wins as we can here at home before Christmas.”

As desperately needed as Sunday night’s win was, the Rangers do not view it as a panacea. There are still troubling issues, most notably falling behind early. On Sunday, Calgary had first period leads of 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1 at the intermission.

Instead, they view the win against the Flames as a start.

“There were quite a few moments that tested us,” head coach Alain Vigneault said. “We were down by two early and had a [penalty] kill to make at a critical time. We found a way, twice, to come back in this game which is something we haven’t done very often this year. There are quite a few elements that, hopefully, we can build on.

“I think there are a few elements: the fact that we did come back twice, the fact that I thought defensively we played another strong game and the last four games we haven’t given the opposition more than 12 scoring [chances] against. We will try and build on this and get ready for Wednesday’s game.”

The Penguins enter the nationally televised match without three vital cogs. Left wing James Neal will be serving the fifth and final game of a five-game suspension for kneeing Boston left wing Brad Marchand in the first period of the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Penguins on Dec. 7, and defenseman Brooks Orpik is out indefinitely following post-concussion symptoms after being attacked by Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton in the loss. Thornton was suspended 15 games by the NHL on Friday, but announced through the NHLPA Monday he was going to appeal the punishment.

Norris Trophy-finalist Kris Letang was placed on injured reserve Monday morning.

Still, at 24-10-1, the Penguins lead both the Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division. Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 47 points and is tied for third in the league with 19 goals. Evgeni Malkin’s 32 assists is most in the NHL. Beleaguered goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury leads the NHL with 19 wins and is tied for the league lead with three shutouts.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…