The New York Rangers will play their final set of back-to-backs tonight, followed by a game tomorrow night against the Winnipeg Jets. Tonight's opponent will be the Minnesota Wild, which have been in a major slump for a greater part of the season. The Wild started out on top of the Western Conference, but have since fallen all the way down to the 13th spot in the West. The Wild have won just three games in their last game, while the Rangers have gone 5-5-0 over a ten game stretch. Here are tonight's keys to the game!
No More Odd-Man Rushes: The Rangers have allowed more then a fair share of odd-man rushes over their three or four games. This has lead to a majority of goals which have been scored against them, and has been their biggest flaw. The defensemen seem to be getting caught too deep on teams with a quick transition game, resulting in a ton of odd-man rushes. The Rangers need to play smart hockey, and watch for the quick breakouts.
Hit The Net: You cannot score goals if you don't hit the net, it's physically impossible. The Rangers have had some great scoring chances, but they are wasting them away by constantly missing the net. As we saw against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Marian Gaborik scored from a crazy angle by just throwing it on net. It doesn't matter where it's from, they have to hit the net and make the best of their opportunities.
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Goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist will be starting in net for the New York Rangers, and on the other end it will be Josh Harding for the Minnesota Wild. Nicklas Backstrom is returning from injury tonight, but will be backing up Harding. Martin Biron is expected to start tomorrow night's game against the Winnipeg Jets.