Although the trade deadline is still two days away, the Rangers appear to have made their final moves of the season prior to tonight’s game. The long rumored deal that would make Patrick Kane a Blueshirt transpired yesterday, though the longtime Chicago Blackhawk’s Ranger debut will not take place until tomorrow night. Between Kane’s debut being pushed back to Thursday, Ryan Lindgren’s continued absence due to an upper body injury, and the three game suspension handed down to K’Andre Miller, Gerard Gallant’s squad will be playing short handed for the second consecutive game.
Lacking the necessary cap space to recall anybody from AHL Hartford, the Rangers will be trotting out an 11 forward, five defenseman lineup against for tonight’s game. While the Philadelphia Flyers are a team simply going through the motions for the next six weeks until their season ends, playing down two skaters will present a challenge nonetheless.
Player to Watch: Braden Schneider
The cap gymnastics required to open up enough cap space to fit Kane onto the roster resulted in an interesting last handful of days for Schneider. The sophomore defenseman need to be played on waivers and sent to Hartford for a paper transaction following Sunday’s game, so Schneider dressed but sat on the bench for the entirety of New York’s victory that day to avoid the possibility of an injury. Recalled yesterday once Kane was acquired, Schneider should have fresh legs to skate on tonight, so keep an eye on him as the Blueshirts squeeze a little bit more out of each available player to make up for their two empty lineup spots.
Enjoy the game!