The New York Rangers don’t have much time to bask in their big win over the Pittsburgh Penguins as they go right back to work in Detroit. It’s the second game of back-to-back games and an inferior opponent. Those are dangerous conditions for this Rangers team.
This should be an easy game. The Red Wings are six games below NHL .500, really 14 games with eight overtime losses. The Wings have a tendency to allow a lot of goals, giving up 11 on Sunday to the Penguins and 55 goals over their last 11 games. They are allowed 3.80 goals per game, the most in the NHL and they have the fourth worst goal differential in the league.
All Detroit has going for it is a chance to be a spoiler. Considering that they are 15 points better than cellar dweller Arizona, they cannot even tank in an effort to improve their draft lottery odds.
Knowing all of that, it’s likely that the Rangers will have a tough time tonight. As we have seen numerous times before, the Blueshirts tend to play to the level of their competition. It explains why they’ve beaten the Lightning, Hurricanes and Penguins twice while losing to the Devils and Islanders and being forced to win in overtime against the Sabres.
They’ll have to do it with Alexandar Georgiev in goal as coach Gerard Gallant makes good on his promise to not play the same goalie in back-to-back games.
After so many years of failed deadline acquisitions, Chris Drury looks like he has hit a home run this year. Let’s not forget that Frank Vatrano scored two goals in his last game for the Panthers, so he is red hot with seven goals in his last eight games.
The last game
The Rangers have met the Red Wings only once this season and the result wasn’t very good. The Rangers lost 3-2 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden on February 17. It was only their second game after a two week layoff and it showed.
It was another comeback for the team, as they were trailing late in the third period when Mika Zibanejad tied the score on a power play goal with under nine minutes left. After a scoreless overtime that included a last minute breakaway by Artemi Panarin, the teams went to a shootout and it was one Ranger fans won’t forget. It went six rounds, but on the Rangers’ fifth attempt Ryan Strome missed an open net after Thomas Greiss failed on a poke check.
The lineup is mostly the same with Ryan Strome out of the lineup and Greg McKegg replacing Jonny Brodzinski. We will have to get used to players going in and out of the lineup with the surplus of warm bodies on the roster.
NEW YORK RANGERS
20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 77 Vatrano
23 Panarin – 18 Copp – 29 Hunt
13 Lafrenière – 72 Chytil – 21 Goodrow
64 Motte – 14 McKegg – 75 Reaves
55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
15 Nemeth – 45 Schneider
DETROIT RED WINGS
59 Tyler Bertuzzi– 71Dylan Larkin – 23 Lucas Raymond
70 Oskar Sundkvist – 14 Robby Fabbri – 24 Pius Suter
90 Joe Veleno – 89 Sam Gagner – 73 Adam Erne
11 Filip Zadina – 27 Michael Rasmussen – 25 Taro Hirose
82 Jordan Oesterle – 53 Moritz Seider
84 Olli Juolevi -17 Filip Hronek
28 Gustav Lindstrom – 8 Jake Walman
39 Alex Nedeljkovic
34 Victor Brattstrom
Victor Brattstrom has never played in an NHL game and is an emergency call up after injuries to Thomas Greiss and Calvin Pickard. Nedeljkovic will get the start and he has never played against the Rangers.
How to watch and the live conversation
Game time is 7:30pm and it will televised nationally on TNT with the live stream on ESPN+.
The Blue Line Station live converstion is active once again and you can join your fellow Rangers fans as we watch to see if the team will play down to the competition or show a killer instinct and put away a team that they are better than.
Then again, it’s a TNT telecast so we will definitely have something to talk about…let’s hope that they don’t use that “moonshot” moving camera.
Join the conversation below in the comments section.