If the New York Rangers ever needed to win a game this season it's tonight.
After the Rangers 3-2 loss to Atlanta that allowed the Thrashers to move within two points of the Rangers in the standings.
The Rangers are on a season-worst 0-5-1 losing streak, gaining only one of a possible 12 points in their last six games. Those are not playoff numbers, and if the Rangers want any hope of being serious contenders they need a win today. The Penguins are missing multiple players due to injuries and suspensions. The Rangers finally seem to be at full strength.
If for nothing else, just based on the amount of faces missing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers need these two points. Add that onto the fact that the game is at Madison Square Garden, and the Rangers should win tonight.
A victory would bring the Rangers two points closer to the Penguins in the standings, while pushing them two points ahead of the teams below them.
A loss would be another crushing blow to a two-week period filled with them. For the Rangers, they can't withstand another.
- Michael Del Zotto is sitting tonight, in favor of Steve Eminger. Does this have anything to do with that chewing-out he received by John Tortorella against Atlanta? I would guess yes.
- I expect Henrik Lundqvist to get the starting nod this afternoon. If you need a big win, you ride your big horse.
- If any game helps the Rangers slumping-snuper get out of his slump, tonight's the night. Marian Gaborik will be going up against a depleted defensive corps, space should be abundant tonight, so should his goals.