Just seven games remain for the New York Rangers in a now mathematically lost season — the first of which will be played tonight when the Blueshirts take on the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in a 7:30 PM puck drop.
Lundqvist in goal tonight. Kreider and Staal remain out. Brickley is in for Nieves.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) March 27, 2019
The Rangers managed to snap a five-game skid when they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Saturday night, but couldn’t build any momentum coming off of that victory. Instead, they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins two nights ago in yet another game in which their two-goal lead was blown — in this case, giving up five-straight tallies to their divisional rivals en route to a 5-2 loss.
New York has marginally improved over their last ten — now 6-2-2 in that span — but have officially been eliminated from playoff contention, formalizing the hopeless nature of the rest of these contests as early evaluations for next season at best.
Regardless of that futility, however, the Rangers — a prideful bunch — are hopeful for victory.
”We’ve come into games against them ready to play and given them our full attention,” Kevin Shattenkirk said earlier this morning. “They’re a really strong team, and I think every time we go out there it seems like there’s guys on the ice who can hurt us. So every player who gets put out there, we’re ready to play against them, and play them hard defensively and wait for our chances, because they’re a team that doesn’t give up much.”
The Blueshirts’ hopes will be heavily tested, however, in taking on Boston, who own the 11th-best offense (3.09 GF/GP) in the NHL this season. The Bruins have also out-scored their opponents by a 22-9 over their last four games.
The Bs lead the Leafs — their likely opening-round playoff opponents — by five points with six games left in their season, and are eying a 12th-straight home-ice win as they welcome the Rangers this evening.
Torey Krug, who missed the last six games due to a concussion, is expected to return to Boston’s lineup tonight.
Please use this as your open thread for tonight’s game.