Rangers at Flyers – 8:00 PM NBCSN
The Rangers stunk so bad at MSG last night that they’ve been chased out of the city to a city worthy of their stench: Philadelphia. It’s very disconcerting that they’ve played so poorly at times, especially since this is the halfway point of the season.
Everyone really liked E3’s reviews, so I am going to take a page out of the NHL’s marketing playbook and change it back to my review. Clearly, this is a HAV.
Tonight’s possible lineup for the Rangers (26-13-1):
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner
JT Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast
Nicklas Jensen-Marek Hrivik-Brandon Pirri
Ryan McDonagh-Brady Skjei
Adam Clendening-Kevin Klein
Nick Holden-Dan Girardi
The big news, of course, is that Marc Staal is out tonight and Saturday with an upper body injury. The Rangers have been pretty forthcoming this year with their injuries so it’s a bit odd to go with the “upper body” label and saying he’s definitely out Saturday as well. It could be an even longer absence.
Interestingly,Brady Skjei moves up to the right side with McDonagh, a pair that was particularly strong in the playoffs. It’s a bit of a surprise, however, as the left handed Staal is coming out of the lineup for the right handed Clendening. To then also move the left handed Skjei to the right side is not a change I expected.
Lundqvist gets the start tonight. He should be well rested after being off last night. What’s that? He was in? Oh no.
Rick Nash is getting closer to returning but it remains to be seen if he comes back on Saturday against Columbus. There are still no definitive timetables on Buchnevich or Zibanejad. Buchnevich supposedly just needs to regain his conditioning and he might get it via a conditioning stint in the AHL during the bye* week.
For the Flyers (20-14-5),the story is about their recent struggles after their ten game win streak. They now sit only 3 points ahead of Tampa and Toronto for the final wild card spot. Toronto holds two games in hand. Steve Mason gets the start.
Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote for your three stars after the game!