After taking both halves of their home and home set against the New York Islanders, the Rangers are back in action tonight for another Metropolitan Division clash. David Quinn’s squad will welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets into Madison Square Garden for the first time since last April, and they’ll be looking to secure their first three game winning streak since the end of November.
The Blueshirts already won the first game of the season series, a 3-2 victory at Nationwide Arena in Columbus back on December 5th. Columbus currently holds the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, so a win tonight would go a long way towards starting a late-season playoff push on the right foot.
Player to Watch: Igor Shesterkin
With only two games left prior to the All-Star break, the Rangers have opted to give Shesterkin one more start before enjoying nearly two weeks off. Although Shesterkin will likely be returned to the AHL before the break and attend the AHL’s All-Star weekend, tonight’s start could determine how New York handles the heir apparent to Henrik Lundqvist for the near future. Another strong performance out of Shesterkin could see the team accelarate their efforts to trade Alexandar Georgiev and permanently open a roster spot for Shesterkin. However, a rough start could nudge the team toward keeping Georgiev until the trade deadline, and possibly until the offseason.
Enjoy the game!