After an extended break with the bye week running into the All-star break, the New York Rangers will return to action tonight at Madison Square Garden as they are set to host the Calgary Flames. Both of these two teams need the points to keep pace. New York is trying to hunt down the New Jersey Devils and the runaway division-leading Carolina Hurricanes, while the Flames are trying to sneak into the playoff places in the Pacific.
Jaroslav Halak is set to get the nod tonight as the Rangers are still probably looking to give Igor a break. Igor Shesterkin was in Southern Florida for the all-star game and Halak has had an extended break so it’s understandable that the Slovakian shot-stopper is getting the star as the Rangers’ schedule starts to get rolling again. There will be games for New York that will need Igor fresh coming up so this makes sense.
Sammy Blais will draw back in tonight for Julien Gauthier. Blais is still looking for his first goal as a New York Ranger after being traded to the Rangers in exchange for Pavel Buchnevich. With the Rangers desperate for two points to keep up in the wild division that is the Metropolitan, Blais will be coming back in to provide some physicality against a well-coached team that forechecks hard and finishes its checks.
New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Jimmy Vesey
Chris Kreider – Vincent Trocheck – Barclay Goodrow
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Will Cuylle – Jake Leschyshyn – Sammy Blais
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur – Braden Schneider
Dillon Dube – Elias Lindholm – Tyler Toffoli
Jakob Pelletier – Nazem Kadri – Jonathan Huberdeau
Andrew Mangiapane – Mikael Backlund – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Adam Ruzicka – Trevor Lewis
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
MacKenzie Weegar – Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov – Michael Stone
Puck drop time and where to watch
This game is going to be a 7:30 PM start time for the Blueshirts as their return to the ice starts with a game on MSG. Sportsnet will host the Calgary Flames feed if you want to watch the game north of the border. It’s going to be an interesting game. Both teams will be looking to shake off the rust after the All-star break and get back into the swing of things by kicking it off with two points.