Pregame Analysis

Rangers Look To Snap Losing Skid Before Western Road Trip

The Blueshirts return to Madison Square Garden to host the New Jersey Devils in The Battle of the Hudson (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

Despite getting 43 saves from Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers fell to the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout. With this most recent defeat, the Rangers have now dropped their past six games (0-2-4). Pavel Buchnevich scored both goals for the Rangers, and Brendan Lemieux registered two assists. The only scorer in the shootout was Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou to secure the extra point.

“We’ve got to just continue to battle, said Lundqvist. “I think goingdown the stretch, creating good habits — we’ve got to continue with thepositives.”

“These games are important for a lot of reasons,” said head coach David Quinn. “We obviously want to finish strong here. Proud of our guys, the way we battled to get the one point, but disappointed we weren’t able to get the two.”

Tonight, the Rangers return homewhere they hope to snap their six-game losing streak. Since defeating theDevils 5-2 on February 23rd, the Blueshirts have gone winless. Aftertonight’s game, the Rangers will begin a four-game road trip starting in westernCanada. Before heading home, the Rangers will make a stop in Minnesota.

The Devils enter this game with adepleted lineup. They will be without Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha,Miles Wood, Mirco Mueller and Nathan Bastian. In addition, Sami Vatanen is agame-time decision due to illness.

Henrik Lundqvist will start hissecond straight game following a 43-save performance. Lundqvist sits on 17 winsthis season. If Lundqvist can secure three more wins this season, he willrecord his 14th straight 20-win season. Last season, Lundqvistbecame the first goalie in NHL history to record 13 straight 20-win seasons.

Quinn has elected to make slight changes to the lineup for tonight’s game. Marc Staal will sit for the first time this season. “He’s a guy who’s played a lot of minutes,” Quinn said. “He’s been a warrior. Battling the flu, probably shouldn’t have played him the other night, so told him to take the complete day off and he’ll be back in on Monday.” Kevin Shattenkirk will take Staal’s place in the lineup tonight.

In addition, Vlad Namestnikov will joinMika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey on the top line. Chris Kreider will play on thesecond line with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast.

Projected lineup

Namestnikov-Zibanejad-Vesey

Kreider-Strome-Fast

Lemieux-Howden-Buchnevich

Nieves-Andersson-Chytil

Skjei-Shattenkirk

Smith-DeAngelo

Hajek-Pionk

Lundqvist

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