The New York Rangers go to St. Louis to face the Blues riding a two game winning streak and a ton of good will after a tumultuous week. It will be a challenging game and if they can win it will be a good lead-in to their three games against the Islanders.
The key question is which New York Rangers team will show up. Will it be the tight defensively responsible team that held the high scoring Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche to only five goals in two games and limited odd man rushes and scoring chances? Or will it be the offense-friendly squad that allowed the New Jersey Devils to get 49 shots on goal and make a game that shouldn’t have been close feel much closer than it should have been?
There is no question which team David Quinn wants to see tonight and which team will have a better chance at victory. Knowing these Blueshirts, there is no way of anticipating who we will see. One thing is for sure, the Rangers tend to play up to the competition so this should be a good game.
Henrik Lundqvist is back in net for the Rangers after a nine day layoff. Knowing his competitive nature, he will be at the top of his game knowing that he is fighting for playing time with his two younger teammates. Alexandar Georgiev will serve as his back up.
There are some questions about the starting lineup. Ryan Lindgren left the New Jersey game early and Marc Staal missed Friday’s practice. Libor Hajek is back and ready to play so the defense won’t be set until pre-game warmups.
For the Blues, top defenseman Colton Parayko will be out of the lineup and this could be an audition for Chris Kreider as the Blues may be looking to replace the injured Vladimir Tarasenko for their run in the playoffs.
Jordan Binnington will be in net as the Blues look to extend their NHL-longest home winning streak of seven games. They have the best home record in the Western Conference at 15-4-3, second only to the Boston Bruins in the entire NHL. The Rangers will be looking to get back to .500 on the road with a 9-10-2 record.
New York Rangers
10 Panarin – 16 Strome – 17 Fast
20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 89 Buchnevich
21 Howden – 72 Chytil – 24 Kakko
42 Smith – 14 McKegg – 29 Fogarty
76 Skjei – 8 Trouba
18 Staal – 77 DeAngelo
55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
17 Jaden Schwartz – 10 Brayden Schenn – 70 Oskar Sundqvist
12 Zach Sanford – 90 Ryan O’Reilly – 57 David Perron
20 Alex Steen – 18 Robert Thomas – 21 Tyler Bozak
28 Mackenzie MacEachern – 61 Jacob de La Rose – 49 Ivan Barbashev
Join the live conversation
It should be a lively conversation in the third game of the post-Shesterkin debut era. How good will Lundqvist be? Knowing the King, he will stand on his head tonight, though a nine day layoff is pretty lengthy and rust-inducing.
The live thread is open now!
The game starts at 8pm EST and will be televised on the MSG Network. Radiocast is ESPN 98.7.