I think we have a more mature team and that is what it is all about. I always talk about challenging ourselves and the group here, that is how you stay consistent and win games. You have to be on each other and make sure that you expect good things every night and when it doesn't happen, you have to let guys know. I think Torts is a good coach like that. He lets us know and I think we can all look each other in the eyes and tell the truth. It's a good thing.

 Henrik Lundqvist On  the MSG Post Game Show

Tags: Rangers, Adam Rotter

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

12:13PM: At Rangers practice on Tuesday, Brendan Smith is skating with Nick Holden as a replacement for Ryan McDonagh, who will not play tomorrow. (Zipay)

Brady Skjei remains with Kevin Shattenkirk and Steven Kampfer joins Marc Staal. (Zipay)

David Desharnais is skating as a winger on the fourth line with Boo Nieves and Jimmy Vesey with the Rangers other lines remaining as they were on Sunday (Zipay):

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, JT Miller, Mats Zuccarello

 

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Rangers have announced that Ryan McDonagh will not practice today and will not play tomorrow in Carolina due to an abdominal strain. (NYR)

McDonagh played 25:03 against Ottawa on Sunday including 8:55 in the third period and around 3 of the final six minutes of the period.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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Nov 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center David Desharnais (51) takes a shot during warmups prior to the game against the Boston Bruins during at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Nov 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center David Desharnais (51) takes a shot during warmups prior to the game against the Boston Bruins during at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

David Desharnais was a healthy scratch for the first time on Sunday in the Rangers win over Ottawa.

Desharnais has 2 goals and 6 assists for the Rangers this season, a minus three rating and an average of 13:28.

He has 0 goals and 3 assists in the past 12 games and was expected to be scratched earlier this month but stayed in the lineup when Boo Nieves got sick.

Tags: David Desharnais
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New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller and right wing Rick Nash celebrate after Nash scored during the second period of the NHL game between the Oilers and the Rangers Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) (Kevin Hagen/AP)
New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller and right wing Rick Nash celebrate after Nash scored during the second period of the NHL game between the Oilers and the Rangers Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) (Kevin Hagen/AP)

Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that Jeff Gorton is in the "diciest" situation that any Rangers team has faced since Neil Smith was GM in 1994.

Brooks says that the Rangers are a flawed team on the playoff bubble but that the division and conference are not all that strong. (NY Post)

He notes that the Rangers will have to make decisions on what to do with pending UFAs Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden and weigh their potential returns in a trade against trying to make a run. (NY Post)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Ryan McDonagh said that the Rangers stressed being patient and not forcing things against the Senators. (NYR Game Notes)

He aid that the Rangers were able to spend a lot of time in the Ottawa zone and that it was because they were solid in their structure. (NYR Game Notes)

Henrik Lundqvist said that "patience" was the key against Ottawa and that the Rangers executed "exactly" like they wanted to. (NYR Game Notes)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

7:32 into the third period last night, Brendan Smith and Mark Borowiecki came together and Borowecki ended up going into the boards and staying on the ice before being helped off.

Smith was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the play.

Tags: Brendan Smith
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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over Ottawa and said:

  • On the PK, "there is no doubt that it was an important factor in tonight's outcome. We get that five minutes and their PP is definitely a weapon for them but we were able to roll the duos real quickly, lucky that we had sent somebody to the box right away otherwise it would have kept going, there were no timeouts and Hank had a couple of big saves to make and he did. For me it was the game that we expected from them, you need to make the plays that are in front of you. They clog up the neutral zone so only certain plays that you can do and we did them. We got the lead on Hayes' goal and that tip at the start of the third was big for us."
  • On the Smith hit, "when I looked at the replay I thought it was sort of an accident, both guys are coming as they near the boards and make contact and it seemed to me that Smitty's helmet might have hit part of his head which is why he probably lost balance there. Just looked like more of an unfortunate hockey accident than anything else."
  • On playing at home, "right now there is a fair amount of confidence in our group as far as understanding our opponent and what we need to do, the different matchups that you can get at home are beneficial. Tonight though after the first period he quickly changed all of his lines so some of the matchups we were looking for, change on the fly. There is no doubt that our guys feel comfortable here."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media following the Rangers win over Ottawa and said (NYR Game Notes, MSG, NYR):

  • On what the team did successfully tonight"[We had] good reads. We put pressure when we needed to, we stepped back when we had to. They have some really skilled players, players that can shoot the puck too, and you have to respect that. The key to tonight was our penalty kill. We talked about it going into this game. I think the last couple of weeks we've been doing a really good job and tonight the focus was there and the determination was there to really kill off every power play. It set the tone in the first with some big kills. It was the difference tonight I think, not letting them have a goal there and kind of change the momentum of the game, so it was huge for us."

  • On playing with patience against Ottawa tonight"Especially a team that plays like Ottawa, 1-3-1. It's not the most entertaining hockey but they win a lot of games because they stick to their system. As an opponent, you have to make good reads and know when to step up and when to play it safe. We had good scouting reports going into this game and I thought we executed exactly the way we discussed going into the game. Patience is key. It helps when you get the lead that's for sure. They have to open up a little bit more."

  • On the save against Mike Hoffman…"That's old school right there. I think the last few weeks I have been playing a little more aggressive so my side-to-side movements are sometimes a little longer. I felt like in that situation there was a long way to go so that's why I decided to go two-pad stack there and it worked out. When you get that kind of support like I got tonight, clearing in front of me and getting to rebounds, it's easy to play in goal. You just try to be solid and be there. They didn't have much and the guys played a really smart game tonight. That's great to see."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes controls the puck past Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes controls the puck past Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers scored once in the second period and twice in the third en route to a 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


First period:

  • N/A

Second period:

  • 4:46 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assists: Jesper Fast, Jimmy Vesey

Third period:

  • 4:52 NYR Michael Grabner; Assists: Marc Staal, Mats Zuccarello
  • 17:31 NYR Mika Zibanejad (ENG); Assists: Zuccarello, Chris Kreider
Tags: Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal, Michael Grabner, Mika Zibanejad
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Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) follows through as he shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) follows through as he shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

After winning six straight games, the New York Rangers have dropped two in a row. They will look to avoid a third straight loss when they host the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Sunday afternoon prior to tonight's game against Ottawa and said (NYR):

  • On JT at center, "the way we play our system, first forward, second forward, third forward, the center takes the draw but then depends on where you are on the forecheck or backcheck coming in or helping out deep in our zone. He has been good on faceoffs and I am expecting a good game from him tonight."
  • On Shattenkirk and Skjei, "the ability of Brady to skate away from some forecheck and Shatty's ability to make a good pass and see the open ice. They are getting to know one another, it's coming along. We went from a first 10 game segment where we were 2-6-2 and had a lot of room for improvement to this last 10 game segment where we are 7-3. We lost the last two games but we are going into the third in both of those games and we are one defensive or offensive play away from coming out of there with the win. We did some good things. Now we start a new segment and it starts against a good team that is playing well and we will be ready for it."
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

At the morning skate today the Rangers are using the following lines (Zipay):

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, JT Miller, Mats Zuccarello
  • Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Paul Carey

David Desharnais will be scratched, Henrik Lundqvist will start in net and the defense is expected to remain the same. (Zipay)

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Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers celebrate after scoring a goal against Edmonton Oilers during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers celebrate after scoring a goal against Edmonton Oilers during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Tonight's game against Ottawa marks the Rangers 21st of the 2017-18 season and they enter it with a record of 9-9-2 and a goal differential of minus 4.

In the past 10 games the Rangers are 7-3 but they have lost two games in a row.

Prior to the game against Columbus on Friday, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are on "the right track" and that while there is room for improvement they are "working real hard to get it done."

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On Saturday's SNL, host Chance the Rapper appeared as a rinkside reporter for the Rangers and interviews "Brady Skjei."

Watch below

Tags: Brady Skjei
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 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

Filip Chytil returned to the Wolf Pack line up on Saturday, scored twice and was named number one star of the game in Hartford's win over Utica.

  • John Gilmour: 1 assist, 3 shots, plus two
  • Neal Pionk: 2 shots, fighting major
  • Adam Tambellini: 3 shots
  • Ryan Gropp: 4 shots, minus one
  • Brandon Crawley: nothing on scoresheet
  • Steven Fogarty: interference penalty
  • Ryan Graves: minus one
Tags: Filip Chytil
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New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the past two games the Rangers have had a combined total of 11:09 on the PP and have not scored.

Against Chicago they were scoreless in 6 minutes of PP time, including a double minor, and only attempted 7 shots and put 5 on goal.

On how the PP performed against Chicago, Alain Vigneault said that they didn't execute well and weren't strong enough in their puck battles.

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Apr 12, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Andrew Shaw (65) is checked by New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) during the third period of game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 12, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Andrew Shaw (65) is checked by New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) during the third period of game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

In his return to the Rangers lineup on Friday, Brendan Smith played 14:25, was a minus one and had 3 shots on goal, 1 shot that missed the net and 2 hits.

Smith was also called for interference in the first period.

He played all 14:25 at even strength and by period he played:

  • First Period: 4:46
  • Second Period: 6:17
  • Third Period: 3:22

When Smith was on the ice, the Rangers had 17 shot attempts for and only 9 against and 14 shots on goal for and 5 against, but one of those five against was a goal. (Natural Stat Trick)

Tags: Brendan Smith
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

After a first period where the Rangers led with 15 shot attempts for and 13 against, they were out-attempted 25-12 in the second period at 5 on 5.

Overall, in the second period the Rangers were out-shot in all situations 19-9 by Columbus.

The Rangers did have 15 shots on goal in the third period but were unable to beat Sergei Bobrovsky.

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Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following the Rangers loss to Columbus and said (MSG):

  • On the loss, "it was a hard fought game, going into the third in a tough building against a good team, only down one goal. We had some good looks but couldn't beat their goalie. Then we made a bad mistake on penalty killing where the puck should have been down the ice and instead of it being a one shot game it's a two shot game against a goalie that has his game tonight. That made it pretty hard. We still had some looks in the third but couldn't get it done and it was a hard fought game and we came up short."
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Oct 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media following the Rangers loss to Columbus and said (MSG):

  • On the game, "they played well, a structured game, made it tough for us to get in front and create the big chances. Had some shots from the outside but a tough time getting in front. I thought they played a fast game, a lot of odd-man rushes, especially in the second. Still just a one goal game until there is about 10 minutes left or something. We were right there but it was not enough. They were the better team tonight."
  • On the second period, "in the second period it's so important how you forecheck and getting the puck deep because of how you change. In the first we got the puck deep and were able to sustain some pressure and create more chances but in the second we had a tough time getting it deep. They are a fast team, their D joined a lot and that is where we got in trouble We didn't get it deep, our forecheck was better in the first and I thought that was the biggest difference."
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Rangers are blanked following a 36-save night from Sergei Bobrovsky as the Blue Jackets win, 2-0, in Columbus >> Box score


Second period:

  • 13:34 CBJ Zach Werenski; Assists: Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner
  • 7:14 CBJ Artemi Panarin (Power Play); Assists: Oliver Bjorkstrand
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New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller and right wing Rick Nash celebrate after Nash scored during the second period of the NHL game between the Oilers and the Rangers Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) (Kevin Hagen/AP)
New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller and right wing Rick Nash celebrate after Nash scored during the second period of the NHL game between the Oilers and the Rangers Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) (Kevin Hagen/AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Without the stellar goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky, the Columbus Blue Jackets would be in a tailspin.

While the Blue Jackets struggle offensively to find an identity and the right forward combinations, Bobrovsky is largely responsible for pulling the team out of a four-game losing streak.

The Blue Jackets (11-7-1) enter Friday night's game against the New York Rangers (9-8-2) at Nationwide Arena with a two-game win streak on the strength of Bobrovsky's play in the net.

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May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday prior to the game against Columbus and said (NYR):

  • On Brendan Smith, "need a good game, simple, high percentage with the puck and we need him to bring that physical element that he can bring to the table. He has been working really hard and he's gonna be ready and have a good game."
  • On the 20th game, "we are on the right track, if you look at how we have played for the last month, this last 10 game segment, we have played a lot of good hockey. We tightened up defensively, we are not there yet but we have tightened up, the fact that we have been playing better without the puck has enabled us to generate some quality chances, some better looking chances. 5 on 5 there is room for improvement and our PP and PK are coming along. We are on the right track, we have a tough opponent tonight and looking forward to the matchup."
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Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

When the Rangers last played Columbus they scored thrice on the PP in the third period to come from behind and win 5-3.

John Tortorella said after that game that his team didn't deserve to win and that they "pissed one away."

Aaron Portzline wrote at The Athletic that Columbus sometimes struggles to close games out against the Rangers, with Tortorella saying that he doesn't know why things get "a little funky" against his former team.

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It was reported last night that Rangers President Glen Sather and two other members of the Rangers organization were on the list and attended last night's Leafs OT win over the Devils.

One of the other seats reserved for the Rangers was reportedly for a member of Madison Square Garden. (Hornby)

Sather had been in Toronto, since at least Sunday, for the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony which took place on Monday night.

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Nov 15, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Nov 15, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

In the past three games, JT Miller has not registered a point, is a minus two and only has 1 shot on goal while playing 15:10 against Boston, 16:07 against Edmonton and 18:20 against Chicago.

On the season, Miller has 3 goals and 12 assists with only 23 shots on goal in 19 games. He is averaging 16:31 per game.

On 11/5, Alain Vigneault said that he has liked Miller's game and noted that he has been working to get better defensively and is also making high percentage plays with the puck.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault confirmed on Thursday that Brendan Smith would return to the Rangers lineup on Friday against the Blue Jackets.

Smith had been a healthy scratch since struggling against Vegas on Halloween.

Vigneault said that Smith handled his time out of the lineup "like a pro," worked hard and will "hopefully play well for us" on Friday.

Tags: Brendan Smith
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May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault coaches against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday before the Rangers traveled to Columbus and said (NYR):

  • "there are definitely some areas with the puck, especially entries into the offensive zone where we had some great looks and didn't get anything out of it. It's definitely something that we addressed something on the ice at practice and will address tomorrow with video. Hopefully our execution will be a lot better."
  • Is Smith going back in, "yes. It's been a few games now, like you saw, Kampf is coming out. If it was strictly on yesterday's game, Kampf wouldn't be coming out. Quite a few players didn't play as well as he did but the 6 games prior and the couple before played good and a few had money in the bank and Kampf will come out and Smytty will come in and hopefully play well for us."
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New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Alain Vigneault announced that Henrik Lundqvist will start tomorrow against the Blue Jackets. (NYR)

Lundqvist stopped 30 shots lat night before being pulled in the middle of the third period.

In two previous starts against Columbus, Lundqvist has stopped 62 of 67 shots.

Brendan Smith will also return to the Rangers lineup. (NYR)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

1:26PM: At Rangers practice on Thursday, Brendan Smith is skating on a pair with Marc Staal. (Cyrgalis)

Steven Kampfer is skating as an extra with Paul Carey. (Cyrgalis)

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Nov 15, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) celebrates after scoring against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Nov 15, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) celebrates after scoring against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Rangers and Blackhawks were tied 1-1 to start the third period before the Blackhawks scored thrice in the first 5:14.

  • Artem Anisimov scored 1:07 into the period from 11 ft out
  • John Hayden scored 1:53 into the third period from 26 ft out
  • Anisimov scored again at 5:14 from 12 ft out

In the span of that 5:14, Chicago had at least 8 shots on goal and at least 10 shot attempts.

Henrik Lundqvist said that it was not a "fun feeling" to be out there early in the third and that Chicago took advantage of mistakes, especially in front.

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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Alain Vigneault met with the media in Chicago following the Rangers loss and said (NYR):

  • On mistakes, "after playing a pretty solid first period, we didn't give them anything 5 on 5, they got a couple of looks on the PP, but in the second period our decision making coming into the zone, our execution wasn't very good and it led to transactions and counters from them and they got some good chances in the second, Hank kept us in and in the third we paid for the mistakes that we made."
  • On pulling Hank, "we weren't defending well, I wanted to throw Pavs in there to see if it would change anything, and it did, but we had one line going tonight, that's all we had."
  • On pulling Hank, "he give us chances, in the second period he had a number of Grade A chances and made some saves and gave us a chance. Tried to change the momentum in the third."
  • Did it you remind you of earlier in the year, "we didn't play well enough, obviously in the second and third. We got what we deserved tonight, we didn't deserve to win and we didn't."
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 (AP)
(AP)

11/16 | 7:07AM: Henrik Lundqvist spoke after the game in Chicago and said (NYR):

  • "the way we started the third, it was not a fun feeling to be out there. The things we did so well in the first two periods were not there in the first 10 of the third and that was the game. They got to loose pucks and rebounds and we did that really well for two periods but they went up with their mindset in the third and we weren't really ready. If you look at the goals, it's in front, like I said, that is something we have been doing pretty good on this winning streak, trying to keep it tight and make plays in front and when you don't good players can make you pay."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (AP)
(AP)

The Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals -- including the first three of the first period -- to chase Henrik Lundqvist and end the Rangers' six-game winning streak, 6-3, on Wednesday night in Chicago.  >> Box score


First period:

  • 9:58 NYR Mika Zibanejad; Assists: Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich

Second period:

  • 19:08 CHI Alex DeBrincat; Assists: Richard Panik, Duncan Keith

Third period:

  • 1:07 CHI Artem Anisimov; Assists: Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz
  • 1:53 CHI John Hayden; Assists: Cody Franson, Keith
  • 5:14 CHI Anisimov (PP); Assists: Franson, Schmaltz
  • 7:08 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash
  • 11:56 NYR Nash
  • 16:12 CHI Anisimov; Assists: Schmaltz, Panik
  • 18:30 CHI Jonathan Toews (ENG); Assists: Brent Seabrook
Tags: Kevin Hayes, Mika Zibanejad, Rick Nash
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Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers celebrate after scoring a goal against Edmonton Oilers during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers celebrate after scoring a goal against Edmonton Oilers during second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

CHICAGO -- The New York Rangers will try to extend their six-game winning streak when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the United Center.

New York (9-7-2) has outscored opponents 26-16 during its streak, which has included two overtime wins on the road and four regulation wins on home ice. A dynamic offensive attack has powered the Rangers, who have scored at least four goals in seven of their past eight contests.

As the Rangers surge, Chicago (8-8-2) is looking to break out of a slump. The Blackhawks have lost three of their past four games and squandered a three-goal lead in their most recent contest.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Mar 28, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches the game against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Mar 28, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches the game against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

7:53PM: Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to tonight's game against Chicago and said (NYR):

On the PK and Lindy Ruff, "Lindy brought in some good ideas, it took us some time to to get accustomed to some of the trigger points that we want to establish as a team. Our PK has been good for quite some time, we are aggressive in the right situations and the combo of being aggressive and good saves makes for a good PK and that is what we are getting right now."

On Shattenkirk, "I can't pick one specific time. He was a work in progress, definitely in the back of his mind and understanding how his teammates, their tendencies and the way we like to go from offense to defense and defense to offense. Like any good player he keeps working at it and sooner or later the results come and he is an important part of our D group and playing well."

On the goalie situation, "I go back to what I mentioned at the beginning of the season and that I'm not picking a number for Hank, we are looking at the schedule, how he is playing and how he is feeling. Our schedule has been as easy as it could probably get and he is feeling well and playing well. We will play him and he is playing well. We will play him and figure it out as we move along."

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Nov 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Tonight against Chicago, Henrik Lundqvist will make his 7th straight start for the Rangers.

Alain Vigneault said that Lundqvist has gotten the past 6 starts and will get tonight's start due to a spread out schedule and that when the schedule changes the coaches will "make the best decision for the team."

Vigneault said that right now Lundqvist is "very fresh" and reiterated that the team has not set a limit on how many games Lundqvist will play this season.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Oct 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville watches his team during a game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville watches his team during a game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville spoke about the Rangers earlier today and said (CHI):

  • "they are playing well, they got a very balanced team, lots of skill, some experience as well. They play the right way, play a real solid team game, don't give you much, patient in their structure, close checking. Let's manage the puck because that will be important."
  • "PP is extremely hot and dangerous. A real structured team game, patient in a lot of ways. They have four really deep lines, balanced on the back end and have a real solid goaltender. They are solid, that is the way they play. They don't give you anything and they take what you give them as well."
  • "they are deep in their lineup and they do keep the puck. Teams that I find are successful work hard without it and try to keep it as long as we can."
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) smiles after being named the first star after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) smiles after being named the first star after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Mika Zibanejad said recently that he wants to be the player that he is expected to be and contribute as much as he can. (Hockey Sverige)

This season Zibanejad leads the Rangers with 18 points in 18 games, 10 of which have come on the PP.

Zibanejad is averaging 18:31 per game and is winning 53% of faceoffs.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Filip Chytil has missed the past three games for the Wolf Pack with a "stomach ailment" similar to the one that kept Boo Nieves out of the lineup recently. (NY Post)

Chytil is expected to play tonight for Hartofrd against Bridgeport. (NY Post)

Chytil last played on 11/4 against Providence and is a minus four in the last two games that he played.

Overall, Chytil has 9 points in 8 games for Hartford with a plus one rating and 21 shots on goal.

Tags: Filip Chytil
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:01:00
Alain Vigneault and Henrik Lundqvist talk about the Rangers' confidence, as they look to push their winning streak to seven games.
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) carries the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) carries the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Rick Nash tells Larry Brooks that while he sometimes thinks about his future and being a pending UFA, that stuff isn't "weighing on him." (NY Post)

Nash reiterated that he wants to stay with the Ranger, saying "this is home," and that while contract issues are usually handled in the summer, he would be open to talk and possibly sign a new contract during the year "if both sides were happy with it." (NY Post)

He added that he understands the business side of things and that the Rangers will ultimately do what they feel is best for the organization, which might be trading him at the deadline. (NY Post)

Tags: Rick Nash
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday and said (NYR):

  • On playing Chicago, "I would say that two good teams that play a similar brand of hockey, both have offensive skill, both want to play fast. It's been real good hockey. Even though they are in the other conference and we only see them a couple of times a year, I watched their last game against the Devils and they spent most of the game in Jersey's end. It was a game where Chicago played real well and Jersey made the most of their chances. That time right now, if you look at them statistically, they are outside looking in but they are playing some real good hockey, should be a good game for us."
  • On Zibanejad, "I like the way he has handled it. He has come in and worked extremely hard, he has put in some extra time. You can just tell that he wants to be on the ice, he wants to be on the ice in the last minute when we have a lead, when we are trailing. You can really sense that he wants to be the best that he can be, he's putting in a lot of time on the ice. He's very good at communicating with the players he is playing with, where he is and where he thinks he can help those players out. He's coming in stride. On the PP he has been more effective than he has been in the past, using his shot more, making some high level plays that are giving us some real good scoring chances. He is definitely on the right track and as long as he ha the attitude that he wants to continue to push himself and be the best that he can be he will continue to improve."
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Nov 2, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) is congratulated by center Mika Zibanejad (93) and teammates after he scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 2, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) is congratulated by center Mika Zibanejad (93) and teammates after he scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

28 of the Rangers 60 goals this season have been scored by players who are 25-years old or younger. (NYR Game Notes)

The list includes:

  • Pavel Buchnevich (24): 8 goals
  • Mika Zibanejad (22): 8 goals
  • Jimmy Vesey (24): 4 goals
  • Kevin Hayes (25): 3 goals
  • JT Miller (24): 3 goals
  • Brady Skjei (23): 2 goals

The other Rangers who have scored this season include: Michael Grabner (30): 8 goals, Rick Nash (33): 6 goals, Kevin Shattenkirk (29): 5 goals, Chris Kreider (26): 5 goals, Mats Zuccarello (30): 3 goals, David Desharnais (31): 2 goals, Jesper Fast (26): 1 goal, Nick Holden (30): 1 goal & Marc Staal (30): 1 goal.

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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Alain Vigneault said last week that he is planning to get Brendan Smith back into the lineup after Smith has been out for the past five games.

Vigneault said on Monday that he was going with the same group of six defensemen for tomorrow's game against the Blackhawks and said that the reasoning is not only the winning streak but the overall play of the defense.

He said that against Edmonton the Rangers didn't allow a scoring chance in the final 25 minutes and said that the current group of six is playing "extremely well."

Tags: Brendan Smith
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Monday following practice and said (NYR):

  • On when Brendan Smith will get back in, "sometimes the circumstances make it that it's not just the wins but the way our D group is playing. In the last game against Edmonton in the last 25 minutes we didn't give them a scoring chance. That group is playing extremely well, the team is winning, we are going to get him back in but for now, in the next game we will stick with the same group of D that we have."
  • On Kevin Hayes, "Like our team, it took him a little while to adjust and adapt. Last game he goes up against McDavid and they did a real good job. Not only did they limit that lines scoring opportunities at 5 on 5 but they also generated a quite a few. He had a couple, Nasher had a couple, Zucc had a couple. That, combined with the PK and the important minutes he has there, he is coming along and he needs to continue to be hard on puck battles, maybe move the puck a little quicker. Use his size and skill level but he is coming along, he is progressing and improving and that is what we need from him."
  • On Vesey, "he's good to go, he played the last game with the teeth in his lips and they took the teeth out. Spent part of the morning in the dentist chair to fix it up and he looks like a hockey player, a beautiful young man."
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

5:36PM: On Vesey, Alain Vigneault said on Monday, "he's good to go, he played the last game with the teeth in his lips and they took the teeth out. Spent part of the morning in the dentist chair to fix it up and he looks like a hockey player, a beautiful young man."

On players playing through pain, Vigneault said, "for me as a coach, you get to know which player can play through certain levels of discomfort and pain. Most of the guys, if they get to this level, it's because they have accustomed their body to playing through some pain. With the schedule and the demands of practice, yuo are never 100% , it just doesn't happen. You have to be able to play and once Jimmy was sewn up he came back and they came back, found the tooth, opened him up again and he was alright after that."

4:23PM: Jimmy Vesey met with the media on Monday following Rangers practice and said the following about what happened to his mouth and Saturday (NYR):

  • On what happened, "it's hard to say, it's almost like I saw the skate coming in slow motion but couldn't move out of the way. It hit me pretty hard square in the face and I knew right away that my teeth were gone. I guess the nerve was exposed and when I was breathing the air was hitting the nerve and it was really sensitive and painful."
  • On how he is feeling, "today has been the best day. Saturday night was painful and yesterday I went to the dentist again and got a couple of root canals and pretty much sat on the couch all day. Today I feel a lot better, the swelling in my lip has been really bad and once that goes down I will go back in and they will cap my teeth, should be good to go."
  • On wearing the cage, "it feels horrible now to go back to it, it's bulkier and you can't really look down, when the puck is at your feet you can't see it, it's definitely different. I don't think I will be in it that long."
  • When did you think of coming back into the game, "I knew I was going to need some sort of stitches when I was bleeding, didn't know if they would have to remove my teeth, didn't know what the deal was going to be but once we got in there I wanted to make sure they took care of the sensitivity with some Novocaine and then I was going to get back out there. The thing that delayed it a bit was the X-Rays and luckily enough they saw my teeth were in my lip on those. Glad we took those in the end."
  • "my mom was at the game and got on a 5PM train and thought that I just got stitches. She wasn't happy about the teeth."
Tags: Jimmy Vesey
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Nov 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault confirmed on Monday that Henrik Lundqvist would start on Wednesday for the Rangers against the Blackhawks. (NYR)

Lundqvist has started each game during the Rangers six-game winning streak.

Vigneault also confirmed that the Rangers will go with the same defense they did on Saturday:

  • Ryan McDonagh, Nick Holden
  • Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • Marc Staal, Steven Kampfer
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Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

11:43AM: Jimmy Vesey is on the ice at Rangers practice today wearing a full cage. (Cyrgalis)

Brendan Smith & Paul Carey are skating as extras at practice.

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