Helllllllooooooooo everybodddddyyyyy, the Penguins (44-26-11) conclude the regular season portion of their schedule when they welcome piss-baby Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers (31-36-14) to town. Face-off is set for just after 7pm, however, with Fan Appreciation Night expect the puck to drop around 10pm or even later.
What an emotional rollercoaster it's been so far this season, we've been through a lot. One week the Pens would suck and I'd want to trade Sid and send Malkin back to the KGB and the following week, I'm thinking three Cups in four years. Nonetheless, the Penguins clinched their 13th consecutive playoff birth on Thursday night when they defeated the Red Wings by a score of 4-1. There's still a lot to play for standings wise, though, despite having clinched. The main thing you need to hope for tonight is a Penguins win which shouldn't be out of the ordinary for most of you, unlike us who like to make people mad on the internet.
If the Penguins win tonight and the Isles lose in regulation (Islanders are in Washington) Pittsburgh clinches the two seed and home ice in the first round.
If the Penguins win tonight and the Isles gain a point in any fashion, Pittsburgh earns the three seed and the Isles would have home-ice in the first round.
If the Penguins lose in overtime or the shootout (earn one point), they would automatically clinch the three seed and Isles would have home-ice.
If the Penguins lose in regulation and Carolina loses in overtime or a shootout (Carolina is at Philadelphia tonight), the Penguins would clinch the third seed and open up in Long Island.
If the Penguins lose in regulation and Carolina wins in any fashion, Pittsburgh would then fall to the first wildcard spot and open up in Washington against the Capitals. We do not want this.
The Rangers will play their second game of a back-to-back tonight to wrap up their season. They lost last night in a shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets by a final score of 3-2. Artemi Panarin beat Alexandar Georgiev in the second round of the shootout to give CBJ the win. With that win, those scumbags in Columbus also locked up the second wildcard spot, making it the third straight season that they've clinched a postseason birth. I really wanted them to miss the playoffs because they went 'all-in' at the trade deadline by acquiring Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuid (lol seriously) and some other pieces but sadly they made it. The good news though is that the Montreal Canadiens will miss the playoffs and that has a lot of people online, mad online, so I'm definitely okay with that.
In the grand scheme of the things, the Rangers are pretty bad and the Penguins have had their way with them this season going a perfect 3-0-0 against them and scoring 18 goals in those three games. The Pens most recently beat them by a score of 5-2 back on March 25th after being down 2-0 early.
Expect....wait for it...Henrik Lundqvist to start for the Rangers and oppose Matt Murray.
Sidney Crosby enters tonight with 98 points, he's tied with Nathan MacKinnon and Johnny Gaudreau. Currently five players have 100 points in the league.
Per the Penguins, including playoffs, Matt Murray is 9-0 against the Rangers with a .932 save percentage and a 1.98 goals against average. That's very good, tbh.
Brian Dumoulin is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He should be 'healthy' for the start of the playoffs.
The Penguins currently hold the longest active playoff streak, clinching for their 13th consecutive year.
Phil Kessel scored the game-winning goal against the Red Wings on Thursday. Phil now has the most game-winning goals this season in the NHL with 10.
Too bad that's not good enough for most of the Pittsburgh Media scrubs.
Honestly, the Penguins matchup much better against the Isles so pray for a win in any form tonight.
Controversial take here but I'd rather the Isles have home ice. If the Penguins can steal one, let alone two in New York, they stand a very good chance to win the series.
Friendly reminder that Henrik Lundqvist hasn't beat the Pens since he flipped the net back in 2016.
Buckle up because there's a lot of scoreboard watching that will take place tonight.
You thought we were invested now, just wait until the playoffs start.