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WATCH LIVE: Rangers host Penguins on Wednesday Night Hockey

Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon reveals that he idolized Sidney Crosby growing up and explains the relationship he has with the face of the Penguins.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Both of these teams are headed in the right direction after rough stretches earlier this season. For Pittsburgh, a 1-7-2 mark from late October into November dropped its record to 7-8-4 and they sat last in the Metro. They’ve since turned things around and their current win streak has catapulted them into the top-3 in the division on the strength of both a strong offensive and defensive showing.

New York, meanwhile, and first-year head coach David Quinn, began the season 0-3-0 and lost 11 of 14 (3-6-5) since Thanksgiving before going on the road and winning its last two games at Nashville and St. Louis. The Rangers return home now, but only briefly as they are in the midst of a period that takes them on the road (see schedule below) after they ended 2018 with a majority of home games.

Pittsburgh’s “Big 3" is leading the way once again as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin are the top three on the team in points. Crosby has 48 points (18G-30A) in 36 games this season, a 1.33 points per game clip. He hasn’t had a scoring rate that high in a full season since 2009-10 (1.35 ppg).

Perhaps the best story on the Rangers this season has been the play of Chris Kreider, who leads the team with 20 goals (2nd-best is Mika Zibanejad w/ 11). You’ll remember he missed 24 games last season with a blood clot. Kreider has an active 5-game point streak (5G-3A)

What: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 6 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Penguins-Rangers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.


Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Dominik Simon - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist
Tanner Pearson - Derick Brassard - Phil Kessel
Zach Aston-Reese - Matt Cullen - Riley Sheahan

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Jack Johnson
Olli Maatta - Juuso Riikola

Starting goalie: Matt Murray

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Jesper Fast
Vladislav Namestnikov - Kevin Hayes - Mats Zuccarello
Boo Nieves - Brett Howden - Pavel Buchnevich
Cody McLeod - Ryan Strome - Filip Chytil

Marc Staal - Neal Pionk
Brady Skjei - Adam McQuaid
Fredrik Claesson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Starting goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

Kenny Albert (play-by-play) and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will call Penguins-Rangers from Madison Square Garden.