Despite selling off a good number of their proven, talented veterans, the New York Rangers could very well end the weekend just three points away from a playoff spot.
They can reach that three-point barrier with a win tonight, going up against the Edmonton Oilers to conclude a three-game Western Canada tour (10:30 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (29-30-6) have won back-to-back games for the first time since February 9-11, and will go for three straight wins for the first time since mid-December. They’re coming off a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames last night at Scotiabank Saddledome, as Henrik Lundqvist created more history, becoming the first goalie in NHL history to earn back-to-back victorious 50-save games. Celebrating his 36th birthday, Lundqvist stopped 50 shots, to compliment the 50 he had on Wednesday in Vancouver, while newcomer Ryan Spooner also continued his tear, adding two points, including his first goal as a Rangers .
HENRIK LUNDQVIST WITH THE SAVE OF THE YEAR? DIVING DESPERATION BEAUTY WITH THE STICKLESS BLOCKER HAND! OH MY GOD! ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! pic.twitter.com/ybpvhEYvlg
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) March 3, 2018
The Oilers (27-33-4) have lost two in a row after ending a three-game win streak, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, with goals coming from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. However, they were done in by four unanswered Nashville scores, including two by Viktor Arvidsson, who put in both the game tying and game winning goals.
Thought by some to be a potential Stanley Cup Final matchup, the Rangers and Oilers have instead gone through disappointing seasons. The teams previously met on November 11, with the Rangers taking a 4-2 victory at Madison Square Garden. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal for the Rangers, while Mats Zuccarello helped on two scores. Lundqvist helped the cause with 26 saves.
Getting a reprieve from 100 saves overs the past two games, Lundqvist will be getting the night off, with goaltending duties turned over to Alexander Georgiev.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490