Pregame Analysis

Rangers Look to Bounce Back in Road Trip Finale

The Blueshirts are in Minnesota where they look to bounce back after a 5-1 defeat to the Calgary Flames. (8:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

The four-game road trip has not gone according to the Rangers plan. They are currently 0-2-1 with one more chance to register a win before returning home. After the first period ended in a 1-1 tie, the game quickly got out of hand. The Flames scored two goals in quick succession early in the second period. The Flames would continue to control much of the game and add two more goals in the third period. Alex Georgiev finished the game with 27 saves.

“We’ve got a quick turnaround tomorrow,” said Marc Staal. “Got to try to get some positive energy on the flight there and try to rebound.” Staal hasn’t experience a win since returning to the lineup against the Oilers during the first game of the road trip.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves off and get ready for tomorrow night,” said head coach David Quinn after Friday night’s defeat.

The Rangers are currently winless against the Wild during their last three visits to the North Star State. Minnesota native’s Neal Pionk and Brady Skjei are hoping they can keep the Wild off the score sheet. The Wild won the first meeting between the two sides a month ago 4-1.

Both teams enter the game on a three game skid. While the Blueshirts have given up twelve goals in their last three games, the Wild have only managed to score three goals in their last three games. Considering the Wild’s recent struggles, this is shaping up to be a favorable matchup for the Rangers to limit scoring opportunities.

The Wild currently sit just three points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the final wild card spot. With both teams in action tonight, the Wild could find themselves just one point out of the final playoff spot or as many as five points.

“It’s the biggest game of the year for us,” said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. “We have to go into it ready to go and be ready to perform.”

Henrik Lundqvist will likely get the start for the second game of the back-to-back. With a win, Lundqvist will reach 450 wins for his career. Devan Dubnyk will get the nod for the Wild. Dubnyk made 33 saves against the Blueshirts at Madison Square Garden. Dubnyk will start his sixth straight game for the Wild.

Projected Lineup:

Namestnikov-Zibanejad-Chytil

Kreider-Strome-Fast

Lemieux-Howden-Buchnevich

Vesey-Andersson-Nieves

Staal-Pionk

Skjei-DeAngelo

Smith-Shattenkirk

Lundqvist

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