The Rangers come off a hideous loss in Toronto Saturday, a game in which they got swept up into playing the Leaves’ game of chances, executing terribly, playing poorly defensively. Just a lousy game that ended with a giveaway and a 4-on-1 game-winning goal with three forwards — fourth-line types at that — looking for a touchdown pass.
Anyway … This will be an interesting test in that the young Oilers are a lot like the Leafs — inconsistent, mistake-prone, and fast and skilled enough to make you pay for your mistakes. This is a pretty big game given what’s coming up … a lot of games in not a lot of days, including two against Pittsburgh in the coming week.
The Rangers will go back to No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist after a so-so performance by Cam Talbot in T.O. He opposes Viktor Fasth.
Other than that, no changes are expected in these back-to-backs, and Alain Vigneault spread out the minutes — especially on Dan Girardi and Marc Staal — in last night’s game. Derek Stepan played his first game since June 13, so it’s worth watching how he does the second night.
John Moore serves the last of his five-game suspension, and Dan Boyle is close to returning from a broken hand, which would mean the Rangers will have eight of their top nine defensemen healthy and available, and that at least one (Conor Allen and/or Mike Kostka) will be headed to Hartford before Tuesday. Ryan Malone is prucha’d.
The Oilers lost their first five, then won four in a row, then lost four in a row, and won in Buffalo Friday. They are without Taylor Hall (knee), but they get Andrew Ference back from suspension.
Benoit Pouliot plays against his former team tonight, but he pretty much plays against his former team every night.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.