Rangers Meet Bruins, Marchand, In WNR Showdown

BOSTON, MA -DECEMBER 16: Boston Bruins Left Wing Brad Marchand (63) tries to get the puck past New York Rangers Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30). During the Boston Bruins game against the New York Rangers on December 16, 2017 at TD Bank Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Rangers are going to have to overcome a lot of diversity if they’re going to get their playoff push back on track.

That track gets a bit grittier tonight, as they host the Boston Bruins in a Wednesday Night Rivalry showdown that will feature the return of Brad Marchand from a length suspension (8:00 PM, NBCSN).

The Rangers (25-23-5) are winless through three February games, part of a brutal 3-9-0 stretch dating back to January 7. The latest defeat came on Monday, a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars in Texas. Henrik Lundqvist again played lights out, stopping 39 shots, including 21 alone in the first period. Martin Hanzal, however. broke through for the Stars, scoring on a power play. David Desharnais scored the lone Rangers goal in the first period, his sixth of the season.

The Bruins (32-11-8) will be playing the second half of a back-to-back. Their 18 game point streak has ended, but they’ve begun another, winning their third consecutive game last night, as they triumphed 3-2 in Detroit. Sean Kuraly and Danton Heinen put up a goal and an assist each in the win, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves to pull off the win.

Marchand, one of Boston’s All-Star representatives, will return after a five-game suspension, served for elbowing New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson in the head during a January 24 game.

The Rangers will be looking to sweep the season set from Boston, having won the first two games, and the last at TD Garden on December 16. The Rangers took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Michael Grabner and JT Miller, but Boston fought back with scores by Heinen and Marchand. Mats Zuccarello came to the Rangers’ rescue, however, putting in a game winning goal on the power play in overtime.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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