As we start to approach the end of the 2022-23 regular season, we’re starting to see the Rangers have less and less to play for. It’s no secret that the Rangers have spent the majority of the season in 3rd in the Metropolitan Division trying to chase down the Hurricanes and Devils ahead of them, but we’re now getting to the point where the Blueshirts may be looking to protect their prized assets because their situation cannot or will not improve.
Ryan Lindgren is expected to go tonight for the Rangers after the defenseman had missed 17 of the last 18 with a lingering issue with his upper body that he sustained just prior to the trade deadline. With the defenseman coming back to the top pairing, it means that the Rangers roster will be at full strength for only the second time since the big additions at the trade deadline were made. Hopefully, this can strengthen the roster.
In goal, we’re expecting two of the best in the NHL as it is expected to be Igor Shesterkin in the first half of this back-to-back going against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s own Andrei Vasilevskiy. With two of the best netminders in hockey going toe-to-toe, we’re going to get a chance to see if Vasilevskiy is still better than the Rangers’ Russian shot-stopper. Both netminders will have their work cut out for them ahead of a difficult game.
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Motte
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Niko Mikkola – Braden Schneider
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Ross Colton – Nicholas Paul – Brandon Hagel
Pat Maroon – Anthony Cirelli – Alex Killorn
Tanner Jeannot – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Corey Perry
Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev – Darren Raddysh
Ian Cole – Erik Cernak
Puck drop time and where to watch
This is a 7:30 PM Eastern Puck drop on ESPN. Two of the signature teams in the NHL are going to be on display when the two teams clash at Madison Square Garden. There is no need for anyone on either team to risk injury this close to the start of the postseason so this may not be played at the highest speed, but this could also be used as a warm-up for the playoffs so we will see what is in stock.