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9:30 AM PT10:30 AM MT11:30 AM CT12:30 PM ET17:30 GMT1:30 10:30 AM MST12:30 PM EST21:30 UAE12:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 17, 2019
PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 18,646

Malkin looks for more as Penguins host Rangers

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

  1. The Rangers and Penguins have alternated wins in the last seven meetings, with Pittsburgh winning four of the seven. Five of the seven games have been one-goal affairs, with three going beyond 60 minutes; however, the last meeting saw the Pens crush the Rangers on January 2, 7-2.

Moral victories don't usually count for a lot this late in the season, but the Pittsburgh Penguins feel like they have something to feel good about after a loss as they head into Sunday's game against the visiting New York Rangers at PPG Paints Arena.

In a 5-4 defeat Saturday against the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh not only stormed back from a three-goal deficit after two periods to nearly tie the game in the furious final minutes, but center Evgeni Malkin led that charge.

"I thought we played a pretty solid game," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, adding of Malkin, "I thought he had some great moments."

Malkin seemed to get particularly fired up in the third period and scored twice on the power play as the Penguins nearly sent the game to overtime. He also had an assist, five shots and three hits.

"We showed (something). We played hard," Malkin said. "I think we're fine."

Maybe he is, too.

Malkin had missed six of the previous seven games, five because of a neck injury and one because of a suspension for a high stick. Of larger concern, the hulking Russian had admittedly not been his dominant self most of the season despite having 56 points in 51 games before his three-point afternoon Saturday.

He had scored just one goal this calendar year and none in his previous seven games.

"In a long time, I (hadn't) scored," Malkin said. "Hopefully, these two goals give me confidence and (Sunday) I will feel so much better, for sure.

"Glad (to be) back, to be with the team. ... I did my best, and I hope (Sunday) we win."

Sunday's matchup is a Metropolitan Division showdown, so the points will be critical with both teams trying to lock down a playoff spot.

Pittsburgh had its two-game winning streak stopped by Calgary and is 2-4-1 in its past seven games.

The Rangers, who were off Saturday, are nine points behind the Penguins but are 8-5-1 in their past 14 games.

New York is feeling good about a 6-2 win Friday at Buffalo, partly because of a three-goal outburst in the final four minutes to punctuate the outcome, including goals eight seconds apart by Pavel Buchnevich and Vladislav Namestnikov.

"There was a lot at stake, especially when you're this deep into the season," Rangers coach David Quinn said.

The Rangers have faced the Penguins once this season, a 7-2 home loss Jan. 2.

It's not clear whether 19-year-old forward Filip Chytil will return to the New York lineup Sunday. He was scratched for the Buffalo game.

"I think Fil's play has slipped a little," Quinn said of Chytil, who has 10 goals and 19 points.

"One of the things all young players have to learn is how to consistently compete, be hard on pucks and give an effort in all three zones. Fil was doing a real good job of that. I think that's slipped a little bit. It's part of development and learning lessons."

Quinn isn't just singling out young players.

"He doesn't care how long you've been here or who you are; if you don't work hard, you're not going to play," veteran Kevin Hayes told the New York Post. "That runs right through the lineup."

Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei left the Buffalo game because of a lower-body injury, but, according to Quinn, is day-to-day and could play in Pittsburgh. New York has dressed seven defensemen for three consecutive games.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 16, 2019

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