Game Seventy-Nine, the Columbus Blue Jackets at the New York Rangers
Season Series: 2-1-0, Rangers
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The New York Rangers will host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Madison Square Garden, and the Blueshirts will be searching for their fourth straight victory. On Saturday, the Rangers absolutely destroyed the New Jersey Devils 6-1, chased Corey Schneider during the first period, and moved within three points of clinching the Eastern Conference. With two points tonight, they can obviously cut that number down to one, as well as inching two points closer (4 points out before tonight) to locking up the Presidents Trophy.
While the Blue Jackets are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, that hasn't stopped them from taking their foot off of the gas. Over their last ten games, they have posted a 9-1-0 record, while also putting together a nice little nine game winning streak coming into tonight. In other words, this isn't a game the Rangers should take lightly by any means, because the Jackets are more than capable of making it ten in a row tonight.
Alain Vigneault has elected to stick with the same lines from Saturday night, which means James Sheppard will be a healthy scratch yet again. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start for the Rangers, while Sergei Bobrovsky will be getting the nod at the other end. Every time these two teams matchup the games are always entertaining, and this one is shaping up to be another added to the list.
New York Rangers April Schedule
4/6, Blue Jackets at Rangers, 7:00 PM4/7, Rangers at Devils, 7:00 PM4/9, Senators at Rangers, 7:00 PM4/11, Rangers at Capitals, 12:30 PM
Bryan's Player to Watch: Keith Yandle
When Keith Yandle first arrived in New York, his first couple of games were obviously disappointing from a production standpoint. He had only registered a single goal during his first nine games, but has since compiled one goal and seven assists in his last eight games. Every player joining a new team needs a little bit of time to settle in, and it appears as if Yandle is finally hitting his comfort zone. Yandle is showing the Rangers exactly what he can provide for them going into the playoffs, and he's hitting his stride at just the right time.