Live conversation as the Rangers face a slumping Wild team

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Frederick Gaudreau #89 of the Minnesota Wild and Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers battle for the face-off at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Frederick Gaudreau #89 of the Minnesota Wild and Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers battle for the face-off at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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The New York Rangers are in the Twin Cities for the second game of this four-game road trip and they are playing a slumping Minnesota Wild team that has won only twice in their last eight games.

Alexandar Georgiev gets the nod in goal.  It’s been nine days since he last started, a 5 -2 loss to Vancouver at Madison Square Garden. It’s clearly an effort to get him more work as he had not had a start in a month before the Canucks game.

On getting Georgiev the start, Rangers’ coach Gerard Gallant said “We’re confident in our two goalies. It’s a perfect time to get him back in. He didn’t play a long time he had a start so we’ve got to make that better for him for sure.  He deserves better than that.”

Gallant also said that they are considering going with the 11 forwards, seven defensemen rotation they used against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Wild have been hit by some injuries, but got Matt Dumba back after missing a month and Mats Zuccarello just returned from an upper body injury.   Jordan Greenway will play tonight after missing six games.

The last time these two teams met, the Wild were in the middle of a six-game winning streak when they came to the Garden on Henrik Lundqvist night and won, 3-2.  Since  that winning streak ended five days later, they have stumbled, going 4-9-0.

The Rangers have won three in a row and are looking for their third four-game winning streak of the season.  The best streak came at the end of November when they won seven in a row.

The Rangers haven’t won in regulation in Minnesota since March 2017. They did win in a shootout in their last visit in February 2020.

Projected starting lineups

Three Minnesota natives will be playing for the Rangers in this game  (Brodzinski, Lindgren, Miller).  For K’Andre Miller it will be the first time he has played for the Rangers in is hometown.  Lindgren and Brodzinski have both played the Minnesota Wild twice in their careers.

NEW YORK RANGERS

20 Kreider– 93 Zibanejad –13 Lafrenière
10 Panarin– 16 Strome – 29 Hunt
21 Goodrow – 72 Chytil – 15 Gauthier
47 Barron  – 76 Brodzinski- 75 Reaves

55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
12 Nemeth – 45 Schneider

40 Georgiev
31 Shesterkin

MINNESOTA WILD

97 Kirill Kaprizov – 38 Ryan Hartman – 36 Mats Zuccarello
18 Jordan Greenway – 14 Joel Eriksson Ek – 17 Marcus Foligno
12 Matt Boldy – 89  Frederick Gaudreau – 22 Kevin Fiala
21 Brandon Duhaime – 7 Nico Sturm – 27 Nick Bjugstad

47 Alex Goligoski – 46 Jared Spurgeon
25 Jonas Brodin -24  Matt Dumba
4 Jon Merrill – 29 Dmitry Kulikov

33 Cam Talbot
34 Kaapo Kahkonen

Mats Zuccarello has played against the Rangers three times since being traded to Dallas in 2019.  In those games he has one goal and one assist.

How to watch and the live conversation

Gametime is 8m EST and it will be televised on the MSG Network.  The national live stream will be on ESPN+ and the radiocast is on ESPN 98.7 FM.

The Blue Line Station live conversation is up and running and you can weigh in and talk about the game, trade rumors or any topic you choose.  Make your contributions below in the comments section.  The live thread is up now.