Kreider and Staal will return to lineup, Gilmour and Claesson sitting, Smith shifting to D tonight v Blues. Georgiev in nets.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) March 29, 2019
The Blues need just one point to secure their entry to the Western Conference opening round — a factor the Rangers could play spoiler to so long as the Arizona Coyotes also lose to the Colorado Avalanche when they play one another later this evening. But derailing this St. Louis team will be no easy feat.
The Blues have won four-straight games and are 5-0-1 in their last six games. They’ve outscored their opponents by a 27-16 margin over that span.
The Rangers, meanwhile, were blown out by a 6-3 final in Boston on Wednesday night. They’ve also dropped two-in-a-row — their third multi-game losing streak since the trade deadline — and have been collectively outscored by an 11-5 margin across both games.
”They exposed us big time. They killed us on their power play,” Henrik Lundqvist said after giving up six goals to the Bruins. “It’s too bad because we kept fighting and were just down a goal but we started taking way too many penalties. For us to win any game we have to play smart.”
Chris Kreider and Marc Staal are expected to return to the Rangers’ lineup, replacing both John Gilmour and Fredrik Claesson. Brendan Smith, who had been playing forward, will shift backward to make room for Kreider up front.
Please use this as your open thread for tonight’s game.