W2W4: Rangers Start 2014 With Tough Test In Pittsburgh

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Rangers-Brad Richards: The Rangers alternate captain and second leading scorer this season has now gone 11 straight games without scoring a goal, and in fact has recorded just four assists during that same span beginning with the December 8th game against Washington. However he is still commanding major minutes as he generates offense and commits to the defensive zone; and his play quarterbacking the power play has been lauded by head coach Alain Vigneault. The goals are going to come, and Richards said the other night he remains confident, though he would certainly welcome some reward sooner rather than later. Richards did score the clutch game-winner in the shootout on New Year's Eve down in Florida, and halfway through the season he has nine goals and 27 points in 41 games. Lifetime against the Penguins Richards has 42 points in 40 games.

 

Penguins-Taylor Pyatt: When the Rangers embarked on their five-game road trip following the holidays Taylor Pyatt always expected to be in Pittsburgh on January 3rd for the Rangers contest with the Penguins. The only thing is he didn't count on playing for the Penguins and not the Rangers; but that will be the case after the 32 year-old veteran forward was claimed off waivers by the Penguins on Thursday. Pyatt moves to the first-place team in the entire Eastern Conference after sitting out the final eight games of his Rangers career as a healthy scratch. Pyatt was held without a goal in 22 games this season and had recorded just one lone assist after contributing six goals and 11 points while playing all 48 games in his first season with the Blueshirts a year ago. Pittsburgh receives a well-liked veteran who will grind among the bottom six forwards, provide some size and experience, and who can play on the penalty kill. This is his sixth NHL team and he joins the Penguins having played 825 games in the National Hockey League.