Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Rangers (38-27-8) vs. Wild (34-30-8)
Big game tonight at the Garden with playoff implications for both teams. The Rangers and Wild don't see each other often, but tonight will be a battle between two teams looking to secure playoff berths. The Wild are currently 10th in the West but only one point behind the 8th place Nashville Predators. The Rangers are currently 7th in the East, three points ahead of the 8th place Canadiens but just two points behind the 6th place Penguins (NYR have a game in hand).
Marian Gaborik returned to the Wild lineup over the weekend and he is easily the biggest scoring threat for Minnesota, despite being plagued by injuries all season long he is still one of the most dynamic forwards in the NHL. Gaborik, most famous in NY for tormenting the Rangers last season when he became the first NHL player in 11 seasons to score 5 goals in one game (Youtube Video). However, they will be without their top scorer point scorer, Mikko Koivu, who is expected to miss the next week. Brent Burns, will also not be in the lineup tonight as he's still recovering from a concussion. The Wild's top goal scorer is hard nosed veteran, Owen Nolan (22 goals) who always plays with an edge and gets the scrappy goals.
The Rangers will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2-1 loss on Sunday one home ice at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. After getting a little rest, because there was no practice on Monday, the Rangers hope to have a lot more energy tonight.
New York will be without defenseman Michal Rozsival tonight, being replaced in the lineup by Hartford call up Mike Sauer. The Rangers announced yesterday that Rozsival will miss at least a week with the "lower-body" injury, which is believed to be his left knee. [Link] Sauer will be paired with Paul Mara tonight according to Ranger Rants. The rest of the lines will remain the same as the ones that finished the game on Sunday, with Callahan skating on the top line with Gomez and Avery.
For fights fans who were looking forward to a possible match up between Colton Orr and Minnesota heavyweight Derek Boogaard, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune Boogaard isn't making the trip to New York because he has an "upper-body" injury. [Link] But, I did manage to find a few videos on the always reliable YouTube from back in their WHL days. Video 1 and Video 2
Tonight's game will be on Versus and starts at 7pm.
Many tickets are still available for the Rangers remaining home games, including the game tonight against the Wild (plenty below face value) at TickCo, RazorGator, StubHub and TicketsNow