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Rangers kick off second half against the Blue Jackets; Staal and Fast expected to play

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

  • New York Rangers (31-17-1, 63 PTS) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-12-4, 68 PTS)
  • The Rangers were shutout in their last game against the Flyers. New York played an outstanding game despite not getting any goals, and they had the majority of the chances and had the two points stolen away by Steve Mason, who made 34 saves. There’s no such thing as a “feel good” loss, but this is about as close as you can get to one of them.
  • The Blue Jackets lost their last game against the Nashville Predators, 4-3, and have lost two straight games. Columbus had an incredible 16 game win streak earlier in the season, and since that was snapped, they’ve been about a .500 team. However, they still have the second most points in the league and have played well in their recent losses.

THE MATCHUP

  • This is the third of five meetings between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets and the first of two at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, playing their 50th game tonight, won the last meeting on Jan. 7, erasing a three goal deficit and getting a four point night from Michael Grabner, including a hat trick. The teams have split the first two games of the series so far.
  • The Rangers have won eight of the last nine games against Columbus, dating back to Jan. 16, 2015, going 8-1-0 over that time span.
  • The Rangers sit just five points behind the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division standings, so this game has important implications for playoff seeding.

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Rangers win fifth straight with five goal effort over Winnipeg

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-jets-11-7

With yet another five goal outburst, the Rangers (10-3-0) won their fifth straight game, beating the Winnipeg Jets (5-7-1) at Madison Square Garden by a final score of 5-2.

This was the fifth consecutive game in which the Rangers have scored five goals, marking the first time since the 1978-79 season that a Rangers team had done that. The 10 wins through 13 games is tied for the best 13 game start to a season, and their plus-26 goal differential over the first 13 games is the best in franchise history.

The Jets’ goal scorers were Patrik Laine, who is tied for the league lead with eight goals, and Mark Scheifele. The Rangers got goals from Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Jesper Fast, and Pavel Buchnevich. Henrik Lundqvist had a good game, making a few pretty great stops and finishing with 24 saves in his seventh win. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers Lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers have announced their official lineups for tonight’s preseason game against the New Jersey Devils;

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-JT Miller

Jimmy Vesey-Philip McRae-Nicklas Jensen

Michael Grabner-Nathan Gerbe-Jesper Fast

Ryan Gropp-Maxim Lapierre-Chris Brown Read the rest of this entry

Rangers preseason continues with game against the Devils; Vesey to start

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-salute-the-crowd-9-27

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a win in the first preseason contest against the Islanders, the Rangers host the Devils tonight at Madison Square Garden as the team continues to look at players fighting for roster spot and their roles in the regular season.

The Rangers announced the lines and defensive pairings the other day, and the top line is the most intriguing. Jimmy Vesey will make his first appearance with the team on the left wing. Kevin Hayes will center that line, and Rick Nash will play on the right. Read the rest of this entry

Reasonable expectations for the Rangers 2016-17 Season

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Before the offseason started, there were talks about Jeff Gorton and the Rangers doing some minor tinkering and potentially entering the first phase of a rebuild. The team looked to have some major flaws and holes, an aging blue line and issues to address before opening night.

But Gorton made a lot of small, smart depth signings during Free Agent Frenzy, a trade for Mika Zibanejad, brought aboard a highly coveted NCAA prospect in Jimmy Vesey, and even made some changes to the coaching staff and management.

The moves made in the offseason show that the Rangers aren’t looking to rebuild and exit the first round this season, they’re looking to contend. Read the rest of this entry