Ya boys will be one-third of the way through this Bettmaned season after tonight’s game in beautiful downtown Kanata, Ont., just a short 55-minute, bumper-to-bumper, straight-into-the-setting sun, 3 mph ride from Canada’s capital.
This is the first meeting since the nasty seven-game series with the Senators in last spring’s playoffs, the one in which Teflon Chris Neil promised that he will catch Michael Del Zotto with his head down, after concussing Brian Boyle with an unpunished elbow to the head. Of course, some of the main combatants in that series, including Matt Carkner, Zenon Konopka and Brandon Prust are all gone.
The Rangers had gotten points (albeit one of those a Bettman Bonus Point for Losing) in five straight games before Tuesday’s loss to Montreal … … … … oh, sorry, I dozed off for a moment there just thinking about that game.
Rick Nash (undisclosed super-duper top-secret injury) did not make the trip. Arron Asham, who skipped Wednesday’s practice for maintenance (the same reason Nash and Girardi skipped practice before missing games with undisclosed injuries), skated this morning. Stu Bickel skated at forward, too.
Henrik Lundqvist starts in goal, which means Martin Biron, who was one of our Three Stars Tuesday, might start Saturday in Montreal … … … … … ooops. nodded off again
Craig Anderson starts in goal for the Senators, who lost Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson for the season to an unpunished Matt Cooke cheapshot, and are without injured Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek (though they were “without” both of them for most of the seven games last spring).
We will have our weekly Live Chat Friday at noon. Be there. Or else. Should be fun and lively if the Rangers don’t take two tonight.
Don’t forget to vote for the Three Rangers Stars <———— over there on the left, and to follow me on Twitter: @Rangersreport.