Pregame Analysis

Rangers Complete Home-And-Home Series in Detroit

               After defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Friday night in Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will travel to Detroit and look for a repeat performance (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG2).

Rangers Ranks Red Wings
24-21-4 Record 12-36-4
8th GF/PG 31st
23rd GA/PG 31st  
9th PP% 29th
22nd   PK% 31st

               Friday night, the Blueshirts used a dominant ten-minute stretch in the second period to create a 3-0 lead. During the stretch, the Rangers goals came from Pavel Buchnevich, Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin. In the third period, Mika Zibanejad got himself a power-play goal and tallied his third point of the night. Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves for his third career NHL win. In addition, Shesterkin came close to scoring a goal as the Russian born goaltender took two shots toward the empty net in the final minute.

               “He was going for it,” Marc Staal said after the game. “I was yelling at him, Shoot the first one – second one he may have run out of time, but he was close.”

               “It’s important to come back after a break like that and feel good about yourself,” Zibanejad said. “I thought we played a good game today, and good enough to win. Now we focus on tomorrow.”

               The Red Wings will be looking to get revenge and avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Rangers. Detroit will likely start Jonathan Bernier who has a much better record than teammate Jimmy Howard. Unlike Howard, Bernier has double digit wins, a goals against average below 3.00 and a save percentage above .900.

While the Blueshirts did a good job against the Red Wings top players, Robby Fabbri who was acquired in a midseason trade, registered two points on Friday night. Prior to the trade, Fabbri recorded just one point in nine games with the Blues, but since he has registered 25 points in 35 games.

The Rangers will turn to veteran netminder Henrik Lundqvist who hasn’t played since January 11th against the Blues. Lundqvist allowed five goals on 29 shots and suffered defeat. Lundqvist will look to bounce back against a team he tends to play very well against. Despite a career record of 8-5-6 against the Red Wings, Lundqvist has a .938 save percentage and a 1.95 goals against average. Lundqvist’s save percentage and goals against average against Detroit is the highest in his career against one team. With the start, Lundqvist will start his 883rd career game and pass John Vanbiesbrouck for sole possession of 9th on the all-time appearance list.

Artemi Panarin returned on Friday night after missing one game against the Islanders and the all-star game. The Rangers will hope Panarin keeps scoring because in 24 wins this season, Panarin has registered at least one point in 23 wins. Panarin has recorded 70 points this season and has a plus- rating of 23 which is the highest amongst all forwards in the NHL.

Projected Lineup

Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich

Panarin-Strome-Fast

Lemieux-Chytil-Kakko

Howden-McKegg-Smith

Skjei-Trouba

Staal-DeAngelo

Lindgren-Fox

Lundqvist

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