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Pittsburgh Penguins At New York Rangers: After Break, Rangers Getting Healthy

(Sports Network) - Pittsburgh will emerge from the All-Star break still missing its two best offensive weapons when they visit the New York Rangers in tonight's Atlantic Division battle at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins have played the last nine games without captain and leading scorer Sidney Crosby, who is out with a concussion. Crosby's fellow forward Evgeni Malkin, meanwhile, has missed the last three outings with a knee injury and sinus infection.

Crosby, who has 32 goals and 34 assists in 41 games this year, has begun light workouts but is still out indefinitely.

Malkin, meanwhile, will be with the team for the trip to New York, but will not play due to his sinus infection. The Russian superstar has been practicing with the team and his knee is said to be back to 100 percent.

"He's not ready to go in for (Tuesday)'s game," said Pens head coach Dan Bylsma of Malkin.

Crosby and Malkin were unable to partake in this past weekend's All-Star festivities, but teammates Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang both participated in the league's midseason showcase. Fleury stopped 10-of-14 shots in the first period for the winning Team Lidstrom squad in Sunday's All-Star Game, while Letang notched a pair of goals for Team Staal.

The Pens won their last two games before the All-Star break and closed January with victories in five out of six contests. Pittsburgh is currently second in the Atlantic Division with 66 points, leaving the Pens five points behind first-place Philadelphia and five in front of the third-place Rangers.

New York has taken two out of three against the rival Penguins this season. Pittsburgh has still won nine out of 12 overall in the series against the Blueshirts and has claimed four straight at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins notched a win over the other New York team in their last game before the break, downing the visiting Islanders 1-0 in regulation last Tuesday. Fleury stopped 29 shots for his second shutout of the season while Craig Adams scored the lone goal in the victory at CONSOL Energy Center.

Dustin Jeffrey and Arron Asham assisted on the only goal of the contest.

The Rangers lost their final contest before the All-Star hiatus as they were dealt a 4-3 home setback last Tuesday against Florida. The loss halted New York's two-game win streak.

Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle and Derek Stepan scored in the loss for New York, which closed the month of January with a 7-6-1 mark. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 17 shots.

"They need to accept the responsibility," said Rangers head coach John Tortorella said after last Tuesday's loss. "When they see they get to a level of play at a pretty consistent manner, they have to continue to stay there and also get better. The foundation continues to mature and they have the right attitude about trying to get better each and every night."

The injury-laden Rangers are expected to get a pair of players back on the ice tonight in forward Ryan Callahan and defenseman Dan Girardi. Callahan hasn't played since suffering a broken left hand against Pittsburgh on Dec. 15, while Girardi sat out the last two games before the break with a rib injury.

Pittsburgh is 14-6-3 as the guest this season, while the Rangers are just 12-11-2 on home ice.


Next Game

Pittsburgh Penguins
@ New York Rangers

Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011, 7:30 PM EST
Madison Square Garden

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