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New York Rangers Look To Break The Slump Tonight

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NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 06:  Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers skates during the first period against the New Jersey Devils on March 6, 2012 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 06: Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers skates during the first period against the New Jersey Devils on March 6, 2012 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
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I'm going to make a few notes on what I've seen from the New York Rangers the past two games during this little skid.

Brad Richards: I've been impressed with the way Richards has played the past week or so. A lot of people have been bashing his game recently, but I think he's been one of the most noticeable forwards on the ice for the Rangers of late. In the past seven games he has six assists and has created some other dangerous scoring chances.

Martin Biron: I know last night's game wasn't completely on Biron, but his play has definitely slipped down a notch or two the past month or so. He's still going to get his games in (there's no reason to ride Henrik Lundqvist at all) and the Rangers still have a huge lead in the division, but there's enough time for that to slip away, and losses like the one the Rangers took last night (and the game before against the New Jersey Devils) don't help.


Join me after the jump for more .

The Power Play Needs To Get Fixed: And sooner rather than later. The Rangers -- once again -- had chances to get back into a game in which they trailed and the power play let them down. This was one of the biggest forces in the Rangers going after Rick Nash, a negotiation which kept the Rangers from making any depth moves on offense at all. (I'm speculating on the final point, but there's too much smoke not to be fire there. Sather obviously wanted Nash bad and expected a deal to happen. It didn't, and the Rangers walked away with nothing). The lack of a potent power play can easily turn a team contending for the Stanley Cup into a team that is knocked out in the first round. This needs to be a focus in every practice.

Peaking: You never want your team to peak too early, but you also don't want them to slump too late. The Rangers have played a rough brand of hockey the past two games, and it needs to end as soon as possible. There is plenty of time between now and the playoffs for the Rangers to find their game again (and there is absolutely no reason to panic right now) but it will become a concern if it continues.

Tim Erixon: Just a hunch, but I think Erixon makes his way into the lineup before the playoffs start. Again, just a hunch.

That's it for now guys. Thoughts?