RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 01: Mike Rupp #71 of the New York Rangers checks Jerome Samson #71 of the Carolina Hurricanes during play at the RBC Center on March 1, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers are fresh off a stinging 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. We talked about this being a very difficult month of hockey for the Rangers, and this afternoon's game against the Boston Bruins will back that ideology up.
The Rangers can use a win this afternoon. Here's how they can get it:
Physical Play: The Bruins are a rough and tough team that's going to come after you, hit you and try to get under your skin. The Rangers have the pieces in place to handle the Bruins if they start taking liberties, but against a team like the Bruins there's not much room for the fourth line to see any kind of big minutes. As a result, guys like Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov are going to probably get some bruises working the tough areas of the ice. This hasn't been an issue thus far this season, but it will be put to the test again tonight.
Join me after the jump for more.
Get The Offense Going Early: You don't want the team in a situation where John Tortorella is rolling two lines with five minutes left in the game to try and get a tying goal. The Rangers had their chances against the Lightning throughout the game, but couldn't do anything more than force the game to overtime. This afternoon the Rangers are going up against a more formidable team who can do it all. The offense getting going early should help keep the Bruins on their toes and allow the Rangers to dictate the pace of the game.
That's an abbreviated keys for an early (12:30 p.m.) start!