The Rangers got some fantastic news today regarding their injured players, and the team will get both Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich back in their lineup for tomorrow night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Buchnevich was recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack this afternoon after a brief stint for conditioning and to get him playing some games during the bye week. Buchnevich played in three games and recorded a goal and an assist as well as a plus-one rating. In 10 games with the Rangers this season, he’s scored four goals and four assists with a plus-four rating. He posted a four game goal streak stretching from Nov. 5-Nov. 12 before he was sidelined with back spasms.
Rick Nash has been out with a groin injury which came after re-aggravating a previous groin injury. Nash told reporters that there is no lingering pain in the groin like there was the first time he injured it. And while the rehab did not change from the first time, he did give the injury more time to heal. Read the rest of this entry
Following a beat down at the hands of Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers (23-11-1) face another tough opponent before they close out their pre-Christmas schedule, a home matchup against the red-hot Minnesota Wild (20-8-4), winners of nine straight games.
The Rangers played Pittsburg on Tuesday, their ninth game in 15 days, and got pummeled in every aspect imaginable. Antti Raanta was unsupported by his teammates, the defense was atrocious, and the offensive struggles continued.
For Minnesota, everything has been going right. Last night they took down the Montreal Canadiens, Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 of the 26 shots that he faced, improving his record to 17-6-3 with a 1.57 GAA and a .948 save percentage. Eric Staal scored the game winner, a shorthanded goal in the third period. Read the rest of this entry
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.
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
After today’s practice, Alain Vigneault said the one thing that all Rangers fans were waiting to hear for an entire week.
“Hank is good to go,” Vigneault told reporters.
Henrik Lundqvist had suffered neck spasms after colliding with Ryan McDonagh in the loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, which was when he knocked over the net to get a needed stoppage. He’s missed the last three games, and Antti Raanta is 2-1-0 filling in for those starts. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers forward Rick Nash has been sidelined since late January with what the team has called a bone bruise.
Nash collided into the boards awkwardly Jan. 22 against the Carolina Hurricanes. The fall and subsequent collision looked pretty bad at first. When Nash returned in the third period of that game a collective sigh was let out amongst the blueshirt faithful. It was revealed later that week that Nash would be “day to day,” that diagnosis soon became “week to week” from Rangers bench boss Alain Vigneault.
While Nash has resumed working out off the ice, he hasn’t been skating periodically since the lower body injury. With the NHL trade deadline now less than one week away, the fact that there is just over two months left in the season and the Rangers superstar winger still sidelined, the question begs asking: should the Rangers shut down their star winger by putting him on long term injured reserve? Read the rest of this entry