Following two uninspiring defeats to open their play-in series against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Rangers find themselves in a win or go home scenario tonight in Toronto. While the venue hasn’t changed, David Quinn’s squad will be recognized as the “home” team for tonight’s action. That means the team will be wearing their home blue uniform kit, and will receive the last change on faceoffs, allowing coach Quinn to dictate line matchups.
The biggest storyline of Game 3 is Igor Shesterkin’s arrival to the Stanley Cup playoffs. After being deemed unfit to play for the opening two contests and ceding the net to Henrik Lundqvist, Shesterkin is healthy enough to get the nod for tonight’s elimination game. Although Lundqvist played admirably in his return, Shesterkin will be the goaltender tasked with keeping the Blueshirts’ season alive beyond tonight.
Also returning to the lineup is Brendan Lemieux. After being suspended for two playoff contests due to an illegal hit back in March, the Rangers’ agitator is set to enter the team’s bottom six tonight, likely in place of Steven Fogarty. Between Lemieux’s physicality and Shesterkin’s stellar goaltending, the Rangers have their work cut out for them as they look to avoid being swept out of the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Enjoy the game!