The Blueshirts conclude a two-game road trip in Detroit following a tough loss in Dallas (7:30 P.M. ET, MSG).
The Rangers are coming off a 1-0 defeat against the Dallas Stars. In the third period, things took a turn for the worse when Mika Zibanejad laid a hit on Radek Faksa. After play was stopped for an injured Faksa, the referees huddled up and gave Zibanejad a major penalty. Not only did Zibanejad receive his first career major penalty, he also got a game misconduct.
“I was trying to get in front of him and get the puck since it was right there,” said Zibanejad. “The way he went down I thought he hit his head on the ice; that’s why I kind of stayed, I just wanted to make sure he was okay. I didn’t think it was from the bump.”
While many key Ranger personnel including head coach David Quinn didn’t agree with the call, the NHL rescinded the game misconduct the next morning.
“They got together and made a decision,” Zibanejad said. “Obviously, I’m not happy with it, but can’t do anything about it right now.”
Alex Georgiev made his second-straight start, and he recorded 31 saves. “I think we played a good game,” Georgiev said. “We had a chance to win. That’s a tough loss, but I think we played good.”
“We stuck with them,” said Brendan Lemieux. “We battled hard till the end there. There’s definitely some positives to take out of that.”
Tonight, the Blueshirts play the Red Wings for the last time in Detroit this season. Quinn has elected to make line changes from Tuesday night’s defeat including Lias Andersson returning to the lineup. Quinn has not decided who will come out of the lineup.
Marc Staal will also be a gametime decision for tonight’s game. Staal missed practice on Wednesday with the flu. If Staal is unavailable, expect Freddy Claesson to return to the lineup.
In addition, Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers. Lundqvist hasn’t played since allowing three goals against the Canadiens on March 1st. Lundqvist will become just the third goalie in NHL history to play in 850 games for one team.
The Blueshirts can expect to see Jimmy Howard tending the crease for Detroit. Howard holds an 8-3-3 record against the Blueshirts with a 1.75 goals against average and a .948 save percentage.
Red Wings rookie Filip Zadina will play in just his 5th career game. The former 6th overall pick in the 2018 draft registered his first goal on Tuesday. Zadina will likely play on the second line with Luke Glendening and Andreas Athanasiou.