After a day of rest following their most recent victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blueshirts are back in action tonight for their most meaningful game in five years. The Ottawa Senators are in town for the third and final meeting of the season series, and Gerard Gallant’s squad will look to complete a sweep of the series. Should they do so, the Rangers will officially clinch their first playoff berth since the 2016-17 season, a campaign that ended in a second round defeat to these same Senators on the same ice of Madison Square Garden tonight’s contest will be played on.
There are other scenarios where the Rangers can clinch a playoff berth tonight even without a win. As long as the Blueshirts can secure as many points as the rival New York Islanders can against the St. Louis Blues, they’ll be in the playoffs. However, a decisive victory over the team that ended their most recent playoff run and securing the berth on their own rather than backing in would be the most satisfying result.
Player to Watch: Mika Zibanejad
As one of only two players remaining from New York’s 2017 trip to the playoffs, Zibanejad has withstood the organizational changes around him and will look to be a key contributor to this year’s playoff run. Skating against his former team, look for Zibanejad to play a crucial role his team’s efforts to lock up a playoff berth tonight.
Enjoy the game!