At this point for the New York Rangers, it doesn't matter who they're playing. The only thing that matters for the Rangers is they win the games they play on a consistent basis from this point forward.
It doesn't matter at all that the Rangers opponent isn't fighting with them for a playoff spot. The Rangers have lost the luxury to drop games against Western teams and still be OK in the playoff hunt.
That's not the case anymore.
The Rangers, who need every point they can get, will face a fatigued Wild team that lost 4-1 on the Island yesterday night.
Marian Gaborik, who's having better days and even skated yesterday, will miss tonight's game as well; so offenses will once again be a major factor in tonight's outcome.
The Rangers, who still hold a one point lead over 8th place Carolina, will also be watching the Hurricanes game closely, since Carolina is going up against the Buffalo Sabres. All the Rangers can do there is hope for a regulation win by either team.
Expect Henrik Lundqvist to get the start. And since we're talking expectations, expect to see Lundqvist getting the start often as the season winds down to a close. With Martin Biron out to a broken collarbone John Tortorella will have no choice but to ride Lundqvist for the rest of the year.
- According to Andrew Gross Ruslan Fedotenko and Marc Staal might play tonight for the Rangers. Both players have missed about a week with a shoulder and knee injury respectively.
- The Rangers will be watching the scoreboard as usual, especially the Carolina-Buffalo game. But Toronto, who is also emerging as a threat, is playing as well. Keep an eye on those scores, the Rangers can use the help.