ICYMI, ya boys clinched a playoff berth with the Devils’ loss to Calgary last night. They still have plenty at stake as they go for a 2-3 seed series and avoid a wild-card.
The Rangers’ magic number for clinching that is four — any combination of points they gain or Columbus fails to gain will do it. If the Rangers win all three remaining games they will be the No. 2 seed and open the playoffs at home next week. (for playoff ticket info, scroll down a couple of posts).
The Rangers are 7-2-1 in their last 10, but not happy about their performance in a regulation loss to Ottawa Saturday. They are only 18-21 at home (or the NHL would say 18-17-4).
The Rangers close their home season vs. Buffalo Thursday, and finish the regular season at Montreal Saturday.
Henrik Lundqvist starts in goal, and Jesper Fast (called up from Hartford Monday) goes into the lineup. Daniel Carcillo, Justin Falk, Ryan Haggerty are all prucha’d.
Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) Chris Kreider (left hand surgery) both skated with the team, during the morning optional, for the first time since their injuries. McDonagh is still listed as day-to-day, though it’s not likely he will play in the remaining three games. Kreider, who barely held his stick with his surgically-repaired left hand, is probably still quite a way away from returning.
The Steven McDonald Extra Effort aware will be announced, with office McDonald on the ice, pre-game. It’s expected to come down to either McDonagh or Mats Zuccarello. The voting was done by Rangers fans.
Other games that matter tonight:
Phoenix at Columbus, Philadelphia at Florida, Detroit at Buffalo.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.
Anybody who’s interested in selecting stars with me and Kenny Albert after playoff games, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.