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Game #22: Minnesota Wild vs New York Rangers Open Thread

Minnesota Wild v Boston Bruins Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

After completing a two game swing through eastern Canada, the Rangers have returned home, and will welcome the Minnesota Wild into Madison Square Garden. Tonight’s game marks the return of Mats Zuccarello, as he’ll walk out of the visitor’s locker room at MSG for the first time in his professional career.

Having spent parts of nine seasons on Broadway, Zuccarello left the Rangers as a fan favorite. The pride of Norway skated in 509 regular season games for New York from 2010-2019, tallying 113 goals and 239 assists in that time. He also participated in 60 playoff contests, notching 11 goals and 20 assists. Zuccarello’s time on Broadway came to an end last February, as he was shipped off to the Dallas Stars in exchange for what turned out to be 2nd and 3rd round draft picks, the same bounty the Rangers gave up when they acquired Brendan Smith in 2017.

While the lineup is yet to be finalized, David Quinn did relay and update this morning:

Player to Watch: Cristoval Nieves

After being recalled from AHL Hartford yesterday, Cristoval Nieves will make his season debut with the Rangers tonight. This will mark the fourth consecutive season Nieves will make an NHL appearance, and he’ll look to improve on the 5-14-19 stat line he’s posted over his first 72 NHL contests. With New York’s depth forward situation being fluid, look for Nieves to make an impact, or else he’ll find himself back in Hartford sooner than he knows it.

Enjoy the game!