Rangers debut Keith Yandle and James Sheppard to the Madison Square Garden crowd against the Predators
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Location: Madison Square Garden-New York, NY
The Rangers are back on the ice for the first time in the month of March. After going 10-2-2 last month, the team is looking to continue their success and keep pace with the first-place New York Islanders. Tonight, the Rangers play host to the Western Conference leading Nashville Predators. This game will be the second and last meeting between the two. The Rangers will be seeking revenge on the team that handed them their first and only regulation loss till last Saturday night. The Predators won a close 3-2 game.
New York Rangers: 38-17-6 with 82 points, second place in the Metropolitan Division
In the aftermath of the NHL Trade Deadline which closed at 3:00 pm EST, the Rangers will showcase their newest additions. D, Keith Yandle and C, James Shepard are expected to make their Madison Garden Debut tonight. (Writer’s update: per the official New York Rangers twitter, @NYRangers, Sheppard will not be in the lineup). Jersey numbers worn by each player will be #93 for Yandle and #45 for Sheppard. They will be joining a Rangers squad that will be hungry for the Metropolitan division crown and a looking to improve get over their last game, losing 4-2 to the Flyers. Per NHL.com, Yandle will be on the 2nd defensive pairing with Kevin Klein. Marc Staal will be on the third pair with Dan Boyle. James Sheppard will not play tonight. Instead it will be the return of Jesper Fast to the lineup. is listed on the 4th line, filling in the right wing position opposite of Tanner Glass, with Dominic Moore in the center. Yandle is bringing his 26 points on the power play to a unit that is ranked 11th in the NHL. Tonight will be the first test.
Nashville Predators: 41-15-7 with 89 points, first place in the Central Division
The Predators are looking to halt a two-game losing streak. They last played on February 28th, where they loss 3-4 to the Detroit Red Wings. Just as the Rangers have new players at the forward and defensive positions, the Predators have new players of their own to play against the Rangers. In a February 15th trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Mike Santorelli (a player rumored the Rangers were vying for) and defenseman Cody Franson will be on display. The two players were not part of the Predators organization the last time these two teams started.
Cam Talbot is expected to start for the Rangers. He is looking to forget the loss in Philadelphia and set his focus on the next game. Last month, Talbot went 8-2-2. However, he gave three more goals eight of those games. He will look to clean that up. And hopefully the addition of Yandle will help improve traffic around the net.
For the Predators, Pekka Rinne is expected in goal. He is playing a Vezina-worthy season after an injury plagued his 2013-2014 season. For the season, Rinne is 35-10-0 with a 2.7 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. In his previous five starts, however, he is 1-3-1 allowing 13 even-strength goals and three power play goals.
Rangers list G, Henrik Lundqvist as unavailable.
D, Matt Hunwick and F, James Sheppard are healthy scratches.
F, Taylor Beck is a healthy scratch.
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