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Game Day: The Streaking Blues Visit MSG
St. Louis, winner of six straight, will take on the Rangers tonight...


Martin Biron gets the start tonight


Martin Biron gets the start tonight

Blues @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:00 p.m. tonight

Rangers record: 7-5-1

Blues record: 8-1-2

 

Tonight the Rangers open their season-long four-game home stand against the streaking St. Louis Blues, winners of six straight.

The Rangers are now 6-4-0 without Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury and Vinny Prospal.  Gaborik is tentatively scheduled to return this week, meaning that no matter what happens tonight, the Rangers have to be very pleased with the results of their efforts in his absence.  And that’s a good thing, because there’s not a hotter team in sports than the Blues.  The Blues aren’t great at putting the puck in the net, they’re 20th in the league in goals scored, and they haven’t been strong on the power play, 24th in the league at 12.7 percent.  But they’re first in the league in goals against and 14th on the penalty kill due to the best acquisition of the offseason, goalie Jaroslav Halak.  St. Louis got Halak from Montreal after the Canadiens elected to put the future of their franchise on the shoulders of Carey Price instead of sticking with the goalie that took them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season.  Price is off to a strong start for Montreal, 7-5-1, .911 Sv%, 2.45 GAA, but his numbers aren’t close to Halak who is 8-1-1, .944 Sv%, and 1.46 GAA.  The Blues failed to make the playoffs last season after being the 6th seed in the West two years ago, but seem to have found the missing ingredient in Halak.  St. Louis is extremely young, much like Los Angeles and Phoenix (though maybe a bit less talented), but have a hard working bunch.  Matt D’Agostini, another ex-Canadien, and David Perron lead the way for the Blues with five goals apiece, and T.J. Oshie has one goal and nine assists.  The Blues are banged up on defense as both Roman Polak and Barret Jackman are out of the lineup but the first overall pick of the 2006 draft, Erik Johnson, is on the verge of stardom.

The story for the Rangers lately has been the play of Brandon Ovechkin, err... Dubinsky, who is tied for the NHL lead with 10 goals.  Dubinsky has been so hot lately that the puck is finding him in front of the net, almost begging to be deposited into the goal, and he’s delivering.  Though Henrik Lundqvist has two shutouts in his last four starts, Coach John Tortorella has decided to stick Martin Biron in-between the pipes tonight.  Biron will make his second start at Madison Square Garden as a Ranger and will be looking to forget his last start, a 6-4 loss to Atlanta on October 27.  Ryan Callahan will also return to the lineup for the Rangers after getting a breather on Friday. 

Understandably, Tortorella wanted to play Lundqvist against the rival Flyers and Devils on Thursday and Friday, but going with Biron tonight against a team playing as well as St. Louis is a bit puzzling.  It doesn’t appear likely that the Rangers will be able to muster more than a goal or two themselves tonight, so it will take a very strong effort defensively to protect Biron and ensure that the Blues don’t cash in offensively.  The Rangers really need to get off to a strong start on this home stand, where they’ve struggled in the last two years.  It would be huge to get three wins on home ice to begin changing one of the biggest issues facing this team.  After tonight, Washington visits the Garden on Tuesday followed by Buffalo on Thursday and Edmonton on Sunday.

Posted by Kevin Baumer | November 7, 2010 at 11:52 am
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New York Rangers VS Philadelphia Flyers
Thursday, April 17, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 3 - 4
Flyers 1 0 0 - 1








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