Game #70: Nashville Predators vs New York Rangers Open Thread

The Rangers are set to play their fourth game in six days at home and wrap up their current back to back set. After a stretch of four consecutive divisional matchups, the Blueshirts will host the Nashville Predators in an interconference meeting tonight. Currently in the midst of a three game winning streak as well as a six game point streak (5-0-1), Gerard Gallant’s squad will look to keep the good times rolling against a Predators team that needs every point it can get to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race.

Having put 12 points of distance between themselves and the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Blueshirts can set their sights on catching the New Jersey Devils for second place and the home ice advantage it grants in the opening round of the playoffs. New York currently trails New Jersey by five points in the standings, but with only 13 games to go and one more head to head meeting, they’ll need to keep piling up points in order to leapfrog the Devils.

Player to Watch: Niko Mikkola

Since arriving from the St. Louis Blues in the Vladimir Tarasenko trade, Mikkola has played a very defense-first brand of hockey. The Predators were once a team built upon a defensive foundation during the Barry Trotz era, so keep an eye on Mikkola tonight.

Enjoy the game!