Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rangers (31-22-6) at Sabres (30-23-6)

Rangers 2
Buffalo 4

Game Highlights:

Update: (1pm ET)According to Ranger Rants as we speculated earlier, Aaron Voros will indeed be the healthy scratch to make room for Korpikoski.

Expected lines:Markus Naslund-Scott Gomez-Ryan CallahanNigel Dawes-Chris Drury-Petr PruchaLauri Korpikoski-Brandon Dubinsky-Nikolai Zherdev
Fredrik Sjostrom-Blair Betts-Colton Orr

Two teams with almost identical records - the Rangers 5th in the East, only two points ahead of the 8th place Sabres.

According to other blogs/hockey columns Lauri Korpikoski will be back in the lineup tonight after sitting out the last game against the Islanders with an "upper-body" injury. Obviously if Korpikoski is ready to go he'll be right back in the lineup, as he's the only Rangers forward to have been scoring goals in the last few games prior to the last game which he missed. Tom Renney hasn't made it known (at least publically) who will be scratched - odds are it'll be Prucha or Voros. Nigel Dawes who is the other candidate who could possibly be benched on a nightly basis was one of the best Rangers on the ice against the Islanders, so it's unlikely that Renney will take him out of the lineup. My guess is that Voros will sit this one out.

According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants, Paul Mara is no longer wearing a sling on his arm (the one he's been wearing since injuring it last Sunday in a fight w/ Aaron Asham). But, there is no set time for his return to the lineup, though it's expected to be about a month. Which is pretty good news for the Rangers because after the game last Sunday it looked like it could require season ending surgey.

Henrik Lundqvist has given up two goals or fewer in six of his last eight starts. In his last five starts against Buffalo, Lundqvist is 4-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA.

Tonight's the first of a back-to-back, the Rangers play in Toronto tomorrow night (8pm). I was wondering if Lundqvist would play tonight against Buffalo and then Valiquette would play in Toronto on Sunday. There's some speculation amongst the Rangers' beat writers that Lundqvist might get the start in both games because the Rangers need every point they can get as they battle for a playoff spot.

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