Rangers host Penguins aiming to avoid 3rd straight loss

(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Rangers hope to avoid a third straight loss
on Monday night when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third
matchup this season between the Metropolitan Division rivals.

The Rangers have lost 11 of their last 15 meetings with the Penguins,
splitting a pair of encounters this season. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 33-save
shutout in a 5-0 home victory over Pittsburgh on Nov. 11, but the Penguins
answered back with their own home win over the Rangers four days later. That
came via a 3-2 shootout decision.

Lundqvist, who is expected to start tonight, has allowed only two goals on 71
shots versus the Penguins this season.

Backup Cam Talbot got the start in net for New York on Saturday versus Detroit
after posting shutout wins in his previous two starts. He was looking solid
again versus the Red Wings, but ended up allowing three goals on 34 shots in a
3-2 loss.

With the Rangers up 2-0 thanks to goals from Kevin Klein and Rick Nash, Talbot
yielded a pair of tallies 61 seconds apart late in the second period, then was
beaten for the winner 7:40 into the third period.

“We were playing a pretty solid game. They got a couple odd-man rushes at the
end of the (second) period that cost us,” said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal.

New York will try to avoid posting a season high-tying third straight loss for
the third time this season and Nash could lead the charge tonight. The forward
has 17 goals, tied for second in the NHL, and has posted five tallies and
three assists over a seven-game point streak.

Pittsburgh has won five of its last seven and bounced back from a 3-0 loss
versus Vancouver with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

An unmarked Christian Ehrhoff scored with 1:50 left in regulation, getting a
cross-ice pass from Sidney Crosby before blasting a shot into the upper right
corner of the net.

“Usually when you have that much time you think too much,” said Ehrhoff. “But
I just knew where I wanted to put it and this time, it went right where I
wanted it.”

Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins, who won two of
three on their homestand.

“It was important to have a (good) rebound game,” said Penguins coach Mike
Johnston. “Following that game (versus Vancouver), I think everybody was
anxious to (go). And we didn’t feel that the Vancouver game was a good game
for us as a team.”

Craig Adams appeared in his 314th straight game for the Penguins, breaking the
franchise record held by Ron Schock. He had an assist in the win.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves, including two in the closing moments, in the
victory for the Pens. He has allowed seven goals on 66 shots in the two games
versus the Rangers this season.