The Blueshirts begin a back-to-back set where they’ll take on the Montreal Canadiens in an original-six matchup (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG2).
Tuesday night, the Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime. The Blueshirts had recently traded away Brady Skjei and they were without Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shesterkin who each are recovering from a car accident. The Rangers got goals from Artemi Panarin, Greg McKegg, Brett Howden, and Mika Zibanejad. Alex Georgiev made 42 saves in a winning effort.
“We never got down,” said head coach David Quinn. We never wavered. We just kept playing. We didn’t back off.”
“When your scorers score and you have as dynamic of scorers as we have, you’re going to have a chance to win,” said Brendan Lemieux. “And then when you’ve got really good goaltending, you’re going to have a chance to win. We have both right now.”
With the win, the Rangers won their eighth straight game on the road and Thursday night they’ll be seeking nine. The Blueshirts will stick with the same exact lineup as they did against the Islanders. Pavel Buchnevich remains day-to-day but did take part in an optional skate Thursday morning. Georgiev will make his second straight start. Georgiev enters the game with a road record of 12-4-0 and a .924 save percentage.
“Regardless of the venue, regardless of the opponent, every shift is tooth and nail and every inch of ice matters,” Quinn said. “It’s a great time of year.”
The Rangers will be playing in the historic Bell Centre against a Montreal team whose playoff chances are fading. Montreal currently sits nine points out of the last wild card position and will need to go an impressive run down the stretch to make the playoffs. The Canadiens will be without Jonathan Drouin who is out due to an ankle injury. But they will be able to turn to Carey Price in the net who has faced the Rangers in both meetings this season. Price is currently 26-22-6 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.
The two teams split the first two meeting and will play the rubber match tonight. The Rangers will hope their two big guns can continue their impressive point streaks. Zibanejad enters the game on a career high eight-game point streak whereas Panarin enters the game with a ten-game point streak for the second time this season.