After a disappointing four game road trip, the Rangers return to Madison Square Garden as they host the Detroit Red Wings (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
The Rangers concluded the road trip 0-3-1, and in the finale game they were defeated 5-2 in Minnesota. The Wild’s trade deadline acquisition Ryan Donato scored twice in the opening frame and give the Wild the lead and confidence. The Wild had been held to just three goals in their three previous games. Minnesota would get two more goals and an empty netter and finish the game with five goals. Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich registered the only two goals for the Rangers. Despite allowing four goals, Henrik Lundqvist registered 41 saves in defeat. The Blueshirts were outscored on the road trip 17-6 and they failed to hold the opposition to two goals or less in any game.
“We’ve just got to keep fighting and moving forward, and we’ll get a chance to address some things in practice which we haven’t had a chance to in a while, so hopefully that will help us,” said head coach David Quinn.
With a goal in Minnesota, Zibanejad has registered a new career high in goals with 28. In addition, he also has set new career highs in assists (39) and points (67).
Filip Chytil and Jesper Fast will likely not be available for the Rangers against Detroit. Chytil is dealing with the flu and Fast is fighting through an upper-body injury he has had over the past couple of months. Chytil is listed as a game-time decision.
With the two injuries, forward Vinni Lettieri and defenseman John Gilmour have been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack. Lettieri has played 18 games with the Rangers this season and has yet to register a point. John Gilmour played the Rangers final 28 games last season and he chipped in with two goals and five assists. In the AHL this season, Gilmour leads all defenseman with 53 points in 66 games (20 goals – 33 assists – 53 points).
The Red Wings are coming off a 2-1 victory against the New York Islanders. Andreas Athanasiou registered both goals in the victory. Quinn’s men know they’ll have to keep an eye on Athanasiou as he has scored in each game against the Rangers this season.
“Know when he’s out there…,” Quinn said. “You may do when the other 11 forwards are out there for Detroit, when he’s out there you may want to be a little bit more cautious.”
Jimmy Howard will get the start for the Red Wings. Howard is 2-0 against the Rangers this season and he holds the career record 9-3-3 against his childhood team. Henrik Lundqvist will go for career win 450. Lundqvist needs two more wins this season to register 20 wins for a 14th straight time.