Trouba returns because the New York Rangers battle the Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s a four-point game for the New York Rangers as they face the overall standings against the team that is right in front of them. After two solid games against the Devils, the competition gets a little tougher as the Blueshirts hope to extend their winning streak to four.

The best news is that the Defense Corps is getting well and Jacob Trouba is returning to the line-up.

Pre-game updates from #NYR Coach Quinn:

-Trouba returns to the line-up tonight
-Phil Di Giuseppe is in
-Alex Georgiev on the net
-Blackwell and Johnson are out

– New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 7, 2021

Trouba missed eight games on February 16 with a broken hand he lost to New Jersey. This means that the third defensive pairing will be Libor Hajek and Brendan Smith while Jack Johnson sits.

Trouba was originally estimated to be 4-6 weeks but is back much sooner. Coach David Quinn said the defender is feeling “very good” and he is relying on the team’s medical advice to tell him when a player is ready to leave. He said the opportunity to give Jack Johnson a break came at a good time. “It made Jack a warrior, he had the lower body thing he was dealing with, and it came at a good time when he went back to back for Jack.”

Quinn also said defender Tony Bitetto is out of the way and suffering from the effects of a lower body injury.

Quinn also said Mika Zibanejad is fine and will play tonight after pinching his leg late Saturday. That means the front lines remain intact except for the fourth line, with Phil Di Giuseppe replacing Colin Blackwell after missing the last game.

Alexandar Georgiev will make his second straight start on the net and he will face Casey DeSmith who will score the goal for the Penguins.

This is the third time Georgiev has started in a row and the first time on consecutive days. The Rangers lost both starts. In the first, Georgiev was drawn after surrendering four goals to the Devils. In the second game, he didn’t accept defeat as he was removed because of the concussion protocol against Boston and Igor Shesterkin gave up the goal that was ultimately the winner of the game.

Last season Georgiev started 13 games in a row and won six times. In 2018-19 he started six times in a row and won twice. If Shesterkin is out, it is important that Georgiev can win consecutive starts.

Projected lineups

New York Rangers

13 Lafrenière – 93 Zibanejad – 89 Buchnevich
20 chalk – 16 streams – 24 kakko
17 Rooney – 72 Chytil – 12 Gauthier
48 Lemieux – 21 Howden– 33 By Joseph

55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 42 Smith
25 Hajek – 27 Johnson

40 Georgiev
71 Kinkaid

Pittsburgh penguins

59 Jake Guentzel – 87 Sidney Crosby – 17 Bryan Rust
19 Jared McCann – 71 Evgeni Malkin – 42 Kasperi Kapanen
46 Zach Aston-Reese – 53 Teddy Bleuger – 13 Brandon Tanev
18 Sam Lafferty – 14 Mark Jankowski – 9 Evan Rodrigues

8 Brian Dumoulin – 58 Kris Letang
28 Marcus Pettersson – 6 John Marino
4 Cody Ceci – 5 Michael Matheson

1 Casey DeSmith
35 Tristan Jarry

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The game will be broadcast locally on the MSG network and nationally on NBCSN. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The radiocast will be broadcast on ESPN 98.7FM. The live thread here at Blue Line Station is now active.

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