The New York Rangers will be heading into their first game of their four game home stand, against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. The Winnipeg Jets are coming into this game after a big 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils earlier in the week, and are looking to continue their success. Meanwhile, for the Rangers, they are looking to gain some confidence back tonight, and come away a much needed two points.
Winnipeg Jets (8-9-1) vs New York Rangers (8-7-2)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - 7:00 PM
Television: MSG | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: Artic Ice Hockey | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets
The Rangers have hit a snag in the road, and combined with some recent injuries, they're looking to finally break out of their slump. They dodged a bullet with Michael Del Zotto, and most notably, Dan Girardi, who will both be in the lineup tonight. Girardi blocked a P.K. Subban rocket and couldn't put any weight on his right leg. Many speculated that his ankle was broken, but X-Rays later revealed that it was only a slight ankle bruise.
However, the Rangers will be without Rick Nash for their fourth straight game, where the forward is nursing an unknown type of injury Even though Nash will be sitting out tonight's game, he did skate earlier this morning, and his return to the lineup is on the horizon.
Keys To The Game:
- The New York Rangers have struggled offensively over the last two games, and only have a combined total of three goals in their last four games. While, they haven't been nearly as bad in the defensive zone, the Rangers are still breaking down and giving the opponents more than enough chances to pot a few goals.
- An aggressive forecheck has basically been absent the last few games, and the Rangers aren't known for playing a soft, and laid back style of hockey. That's what made them so successful last year. They were constantly in the opponents face, and hounding them for the puck. That's something that will work well in a rebound type of game, and will inject some confidence throughout the lineup.
- As we've seen many times before, and especially in the Ottawa game, throwing pucks on net can only be for the better. The Rangers were able to score two goals in a matter of 30 seconds by simply throwing the puck on net. Lately, they have been trying to get a little too fancy, and have been over-passing the puck. Sometimes shooting is the better option, and the Rangers need to pull the trigger on every chance they get tonight.
Some Quick Thoughts:
- Darroll Powe will be making a much anticipated return to the lineup tonight for the Rangers, and in a game where they need to gain some confidence, Powe will play an important role. Much of the Rangers "identity" was lost with the recent departures, and Powe has come the closest to last seasons identity as they come. He's hard on the forecheck, and is great on the penalty kill. It will be nice to have some fresh legs back in the lineup tonight.
- Ryan McDonagh will be out of the lineup tonight after taking a dirty hit from Max Pacioretty the other night. As with Nash, many are also speculating that McDonagh is suffering from a concussion as well, but there has been no official confirmation from the team.
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Darroll Powe - Jeff Halpern - Brandon Mashinter
Marc Staal - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Steve Eminger - Matt Gilroy
Scratches: Rick Nash (injury/illness), Stu Bickel (healthy), Ryan McDonagh (concussion?)