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Mika Zibanejad back in the lineup as the Rangers host the Stars; Hellberg to serve as backup

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-stars

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (28-15-1) are back at Madison Square Garden tonight, looking to rebound when they battle the Dallas Stars (18-19-8) and snap their two game losing streak.

The Rangers lost both games of their back-to-back over the weekend, coming out flat against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and succumbing to a meltdown against the Canadiens on Saturday. After Antti Raanta left the game with an injury, Henrik Lundqvist came in and surrendered five goals on 22 shots, as well as three in a span of just over a minute.

The Stars have also lost two straight, including three out of the last four and five losses in their last seven games. It’s been a tough season for them, dealing with a lot of injuries and poor goaltending that has put them near the bottom of the Western Conference. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers Practice Report; Nash and Buchnevich to play tomorrow night, Zibanejad very close to return

Bobby Bevilacqua

rick-nash-and-pavel-buchnevich

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

Rangers look to rebound and snap Minnesota’s nine game winning streak

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-wild

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

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

Zibanejad injury sets Kevin Hayes up for a breakout season

Bobby Bevilacqua

kevin-hayes-goal-celebration-11-23

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

When Mika Zibanejad went down in overtime against the Florida Panthers, you knew it was bad.

Thankfully, the Rangers’ offseason acquisition only suffered a broken fibula, sidelining him for the next six to eight weeks. I say only because with the way he went into the boards, it could easily have been a shattered ankle, torn tendon or a messed up knee.

I like to think that I’m a bit of an optimist, so there was a bit of a silver lining to his injury. The first was that it’s a clean break, which is better when it comes to healing. The other positive out of this awful injury is the fact that Kevin Hayes will get a huge opportunity to grow and develop in a top six role. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers begin home-and-home series with Pittsburgh; Hayes an important piece moving forward

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-penguins-game-4-4-21

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (13-5-1) fell in the shootout to the Panthers last night and lost Mika Zibanejad for the next 6-8 weeks, but the turnaround is quick as they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins (11-4-3) on the road.

Goals from Kreider and Zibanejad weren’t enough as the Rangers mustered a lot of scoring chances, but only two goals on James Reimer. It was the second loss in a row for New York, marking the first time this season that they have lost consecutive games.

The Penguins will be playing their fourth game in six nights, and coming off of a shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves and allowed just one goal, while Sidney Crosby scored the lone goal for the Pens. Read the rest of this entry