The New York Rangers may have lost Ryan Callahan to a broken ankle but this is a team that will never offer up any excuses. With two games left in the season, they don't really have any time to let injuries ruin their playoff party. Somebody else will just have to step up and fill the void just as they have all season during an assortment of other injuries. Tonight the Blueshirts will faceoff against the Atlanta Thrashers, who will be looking to spoil the Rangers post-season dreams, in a true "must-win" game in every sense of the word.
The magic number is three: Rangers win tonight and it's down to one. If they lose, they'll leave their fate in Carolina's hands because they'd only have one game to cut the margin. New York is currently two points ahead of the Hurricanes, who do not play tonight, for the final plaoff spot.
After the magnificent comeback last game against the Bruins and with playoff aspirations on the line, the Madison Square Garden should be jumping tonight. The Blueshirts have the ability to control their own playoff destiny, unlike last season when the last game shootout decided their fate.
Without Callahan in the lineup, the Rangers will need to find that spark from elsewhere in the lineup. They were 10-7-1 without him int he lineup earlier this season after he suffered a broken hand. Wojtek Wolski showed how talented he really is during the comeback against the Bruins -- and the Rangers would certainly appreciate if he were to show consistent effort from here on out. It would also be nice if Marian Gaborik could play like the goalscorer he's capable of being. Matt Gilroy has been moved from defense to offense for tonight's game -- and will be on the fourth line.