With Michael Grabner headed off to rival New Jersey, the New York Rangers’ deadline strategy has gotten downright wild.
They’ll get Wild on the ice as well, as they face off with Minnesota’s team tonight, completing a back-to-back at Madison Square Garden (7:00 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (27-29-5) continue to rebuild at the price of February struggles, as they feel 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens last night at Bell Centre. Alexandar Georgiev made his NHL debut, posting 38 saves in a strong effort. However, he got little assistance, as the Rangers tallied only 14 shots through the first two periods. They put up 18 in the third, with one of them going in on the power play off the stick of Kevin Hayes. Two more, however, Montreal shots went in, with Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Petry scoring two, while Phillip Danault put ti away with an empty netter. The Rangers are now 2-9-0 in February.
The Wild (33-20-7) are concluding a Metropolitan trip, having won two in a row thus far, beating the Islanders and Devils, the latter win coming last night. The 4-2 final featured a comeback from 2-0 down, headline by three consecutive middle period goals. Joel Eriksson Ek tied it, while Chris Stewart gave them the lead in the span of 39 seconds. Previously, the Wild won 5-3 over the Islanders in Brooklyn on Monday.
This will wrap up the yearly season pair between New York and Minnesota, with the Wild taking the first matchup in St. Paul 10 days prior by a 3-2 final. The Wild went ahead early with three goals in the first seven minutes of play, including the first by ex-Ranger Eric Staal. John Gilmour scored the first goal of his NHL career, while Hayes added the other score, both tallies coming on a power play.
Georgiev will make his second consecutive start, while the Rangers will also welcome back Chris Kreider after a 23-game absence.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490