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Rangers take on the Red Wings in Original Six battle; Klein back in the lineup

Bobby Bevilacqua

kevin-klein-full-body-profile-10-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

UPDATE: Jimmy Howard will start for Detroit, not Petr Mrazek. Howard is making his season debut. He’s had success against the Ramgers in the past and has been in some great goalie battles against Lundqvist over the past three or four years so this should be a good one. 

The Rangers (2-1-0) will look to start their first winning streak of the season when they take on the Detroit Red Wings (1-2-0) at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are coming off of a thrilling seven goal win over the Sharks on Monday, a game that featured seven different goal scorers and another two-point game from Chris Kreider in Antti Raanta’s season debut. New York nearly surrendered a three goal lead but managed to respond and hold on.

The Red Wings last played on Monday, their final season opener at the Joe Louis Arena. They beat the Senators 5-1, with defenseman Mike Green scoring his first career hat trick and two goals from Darren Helm. Read the rest of this entry

Lundqvist stellar as Rangers fall to Detroit in overtime

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Red Wings 3-12

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (39-22-7) came within an inch of beating the Red Wings (34-23-11), but instead came up on the short end of the stick with a 3-2 overtime loss at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Ryan McDonagh had a chance to win the game in regulation with the Detroit net empty, but his shorthanded shot from the other end of the ice hit off of the post. Detroit would score on the power play with less than 40 seconds remaining, and wind up winning the game in overtime.

Henrik Lundqvist made his return to the lineup, and the Rangers made him work entirely too hard. Lundqvist faced 43 shots, making 40 saves. He was the sole reason why this game wasn’t 7-2 or even worse. Read the rest of this entry

The Return of the King; Lundqvist back in net as Rangers battle Red Wings

Bobby Bevilacqua

henrik lundqvist side profile good pic 11-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After missing the last three games with neck spasms, Henrik Lundqvist is ready to take back his spot in the crease as the Rangers (39-22-6) take on the Detroit Red Wings (33-23-11) at the Joe Louis Arena in an Original Six matchup.

Likely joining Lundqvist will be Rick Nash, who has been out of the lineup since January 22nd with a bone bruise. He’s been skating and practicing this week and should be good to go for today’s game. In the likely event that Nash does play, he’ll skate with Eric Staal on the third line, marking the first time they’ll be playing together on the Rangers.

With the good news also comes some bad news. Center Derick Brassard is a question mark for today’s game due to the flu. He’s doubtful, and Kevin Hayes would slide to center if he doesn’t play.

The Rangers are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, with goals from Brassard, Zuccarello and Jesper Fast. However, they played pretty poor down the stretch and to start the game. The Rangers were outshot 36-26 and Raanta bailed out the team. They’ve split the last four games (2-2-0) but have won seven of the last 10 games.

This is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Red Wings this season, and the first in Detroit. Back on February 21st, Henrik Lundqvist and the Blueshirts outdueled Jimmy Howard and Detroit in a 1-0 overtime win at the Garden, with Kevin Klein scoring the only goal of the game. Hank had 22 saves and Howard made 29 saves, benefitting from a disallowed goal from Kevin Hayes. Three of the last four games have been decided in overtime, and eight of the last nine games have been decided by one goal.

The Red Wings won their last game on Thursday against the Jets, but they had lost their last three games before that, getting outscored 14-6. The Red Wings are in a fight for their playoff lives, holding just a two point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the last playoff spot. Every game is crucial and the Red Wings need all the points they could get.

The 19 year-old rookie Dylan Larkin started out his season producing and hasn’t stopped, sitting in second place on the team in scoring with 40 points. He scored a goal on Thursday, giving him 20 for the season. He’s the first Red Wings rookie to reach that mark since current Captain Henrik Zetterberg did so 13 seasons ago. He’s a great skater and an offensive catalyst, and the Rangers will need to keep an eye out for him.

Detroit has another talented young player on their team named Andreas Athanasiou, a rookie taken in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL draft. Athanasiou hasn’t been up in the NHL for that long but his presence has been felt. He’s an incredible skater with blistering speed that can catch you off guard and enough skill to put one past the netminder, scoring three goals in the last five games.

For the Rangers, Rick Nash’s return will be a huge boost to the lineup. Alain Vigneault had him skating on a line with Eric Staal and Viktor Stalberg, creating a big line with speed and skill. Doing so will create matchup problems for opposing teams, because they’d have to figure out how to stop the two 300 goal scorers in Nash and Staal while also stopping the lines centered by Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard/Kevin Hayes. It’s probably be a game or two before Nash is back to his usual self, but pairing him with Staal and Stalberg puts him in a position to succeed.

It looks like Derick Brassard will be unavailable, which gives Kevin Hayes a big opportunity. Hayes has been stuck on the fourth line for the past few games, but he would be centering Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast today. He’s shown some signs of a resurgence before being thrown onto the fourth line, and he’ll get another chance to produce in the top-six today.

The Rangers and the Red Wings will faceoff at the Joe Louis Arena at 2 PM. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.

EXPECTED LINES

JT Miller-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast

Rick Nash-Eric Staal-Viktor Stalberg

Oscar Lindberg-Dominic Moore-Tanner Glass

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Hrivik makes NHL debut as Rangers battle Red Wings

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs red wings 3-4

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (33-19-6) play host to another Original Six matchup tonight as they take on the Detroit Red Wings (29-21-9) at Madison Square Garden in the first matchup between these two teams this season.

The Rangers are coming off of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs where the two points earned did not come easy. They nearly blew the lead late, but a goal from Derek Stepan with 1:31 to go in the third period helped seal the win for the Blueshirts.

The last time the Rangers were on home ice, they saw their 10 game home ice point streak come to an end with a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, they’re still 21-6-3 at MSG, and their 21 home wins is tied for the most in the Eastern Conference, and just one behind Chicago, who lead the league with 22. New York is also 6-1-1 in their last eight games and currently sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division. Read the rest of this entry