Last night Brad Richards scored a goal and added an assist to break a five game pointless streak.

In the post game show on MSG, John Tortorella said that when Richards gets into a rut, it is usually because he has been over thinking things:

"He certainly wants to do more. I think he adds a lot of pressure on himself and it binds him up a little bit. He did some good things tonight. With Richie it's tough because he is really hard on himself and he is a thinker."
reminds me of another center that the Rangers have on the roster, but Richards seems to be able to snap out of his little streaks at a much quicker pace than Erik Christensen does. There is a lot of expected of Richards because he was talked about for so long and signed a nine-year deal, but all he has to do is play his game. His game will help the Rangers win and he really doesn't need to do anything more than that.
Tags: Rangers, Adam Rotter

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

By picking up one point against the Sharks on Tuesday, the Rangers have clinched a spot in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This is the 7th straight season where the Rangers are in the playoffs and the 11th time in the past 12 seasons since the NHL resumed in 2005-06 after the 2004-05 lockout.

Since the Rangers returned to the playoffs in 2010-11 the Rangers have played in a league high 86 playoff games, going 41-32-13.

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New York Rangers forward Rick Nash against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers face the San Jose Sharks on the road Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center at San Jose.

According to STATS:

  • The Rangers fell for the fifth time in their last seven games following Sunday's 6-3 loss at the Ducks. It was the sixth time this season New York has allowed six goals or more, its most such games since 2009-10 (six).
Tags: Rick Nash, San Jose Sharks
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Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Rangers defeated the Wild 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Rangers defeated the Wild 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Alain Vigneault met with the media after today's morning skate in SJ and said (NYR):

  • "There is probably going to be a couple of little things that we will put into effect tonight. Still a couple of players that will be gametime decisions, I don't want to get into specifics at this time of the year but we will have an extra D and forward for warmup and make the call right after warmup."
  • On getting the D pairings set, "that is a good question and I think that I will try and work on that but also balance the fact that we have 9 defensemen, I need to get....Dan is playing tonight, Kleiner, after playing last game felt a little tightness so I'm not using him on back to back games. I need to work those guys in. We haven't clinched yet but I might, take some of those last games to make sure that the extra D and forwards play at least one to make sure they get some game situations. There is a balancing act of getting your lines together, getting your D together, getting healthy and making sure that certain guys get a little bit of playing time also."
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Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

In the past 20 games, JT Miller has two goals, 4 assists and a minus 1 rating with 21 shots on goal and an average of 16:37 per game.

In the prior 56 games to that stretch, Miller had 18 goals and 28 assists.

Larry Brooks wrote on Monday that Miller has "stalled, if not regressed" a bit over this last stretch and henhas been making similar "enormous risk/no-reward" type of plays that had him in and out of the lineup and up and down to the minors earlier in his career. (NY Post)

On Sunday Alain Vigneault said that when Miller, along with Hayes, struggle it's because of their decisions with the puck.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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3:49PM: The Rangers will have an extra forward and an extra defenseman in warmups tonight and a final decision on the lineup will be made after. (NYR)

2:46PM: At the Rangers morning skate in San Jose today, the Rangers using the following combinations (Brooks, Zipay):

  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey
  • Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Matt Puempel, Oscar Lindberg, JT Miller

Ryan McDonagh is skating with Dan Girardi, Marc Staal is with Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith is with Nick Holden. (Zipay)

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Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Henrik Lundqvist said that he would love to play in the Olympics next year, his fourth, but added that he also needs to be picked for the roster as well. (Expressen)

Lundqvist said that there are issues with travel, insurance and injury risk but if you look at going to the Olympics with a big picture view and getting more kids involved in playing hockey, "it's a good opportunity to promote the sport." (Expressen)

Asked if he is prepared to play in the Olympics even if the NHL doesn't go, as Alex Ovechkin has said, Lundqvist said that he hasn't thought about that situation and that it hasn't been discussed much among Swedish players. (Expressen)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (John Minchillo)
(John Minchillo)

Penn State defenseman Vince Pedrie announced last night that he is leaving college, with two-years of eligibility left, to sign with the Rangers.

He announced the move in a since deleted Instagram post as well as on Facebook, saying that he is "extremely excited to start my professional hockey career with the New York Rangers. I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I can't wait to see what the future holds." (Daily Collegian)

He had 30 points in 39 games for Penn State last season, skating on the top pair as well as on the top PP unit. (Daily Collegian)

Tags: Vince Pedrie
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Pavel Buchnevich
Pavel Buchnevich

Pavel Buchnevich played in the past two games for the Rangers but had 0 shots on goal while playing 10:21 on Saturday against LA and 11:15 against the Ducks on Sunday.

Against LA:

  • 0 shot attempts, 1 hit
  • 3:40 in the first, 3:40 in the second, 3:01 in the third
  • 8 shot attempts for, 13 against, 4 shot attempts for, 5 against (Natural Stat Trick)
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

In his return to the lineup after being out since 2/21, Kevin Klein was paired with Ryan McDonagh and played 20:10.

He had two shot attempts that were blocked and 1 hit while played 4:39 in the first period, 7:22 in the second period, 6:33 in the third period and 1:36 on the PK.

Klein had not played over 20 minutes in his last 9 games prior to his injury.

Tags: Kevin Klein
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Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist

In his first start since returning from a hip injury, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 of 33 shots in the Rangers loss to the Ducks.

Lundqvist said that "overall" he felt "okay" and that there were a couple of reads he could have made better in regards to odd-man rushes and how aggressive he should be. (NYR)

He said that there were "lots of good things" in the game but "also things that I can do better." (NYR)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (Carlos Osorio)
(Carlos Osorio)

5:21PM: The Rangers have confirmed the signing of Lettieri.

1:32PM: Michael Russo reports that the Rangers are closing in on a two-year deal with senior University of Minnesota forward Vinni Lettieri.

Lettieri, 5-10, 197, had 19 goals and 18 assists for Minnesota this season in 38 games and had 7 goals and 19 assists in 37 games for the Gophers last season.

He played two years at the University of Minnesota with Brady Skjei.

Tags: Vinni Lettieri
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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The NHL has announced that the Rangers, who are off tonight, can clinch a playoff spot in the following scenario:

  • The Islanders lose to the Predators in regulation
  • Carolina loses to Detroit in any fashion
  • Tampa Bay loses to Chicago in any fashion

The Rangers magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two points either gained or two points not gained by the Islanders.

The Rangers had the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win in Anaheim last night.

If the playoffs started today the Rangers would face Montreal.

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While talking about the Rangers loss to the Ducks last night, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers had too many players how brought their "C" game and added "that's not good enough.

The Rangers were outshot 34-28 and were credited with 15 giveaways and the Ducks were credited with 10 takeaways.

Ryan Kesler noted that the Rangers area a good team but were playing on a back to back before saying "we had their number tonight" and that they took advantage of Henrik Lundqvist's first game back. (Ducks)

Ryan Carlyle said that the Ducks were rested and that they had to take advantage of that after the Rangers played on Saturday. (Ducks)

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Alain Vigneault met with the media on Sunday after the Rangers loss to the Ducks and said (NYR):

  • On the third period, "we made a costly turnover that ended up in a faceoff where they got the caught the guys on the ice by surprise. Kesler shot it forward and their player ended up a lone with the rebound there and it was missed coverage on our part. At the end of the night we had too many guys who brought a 'C' game tonight and that's not good enough against a team that is playing as well they are at this time."
  • On Henrik, "it's a tough game, you look at their first goal and we miss an assignment on coverage out of the corner, the guy gets a tap in. The second goal is a high deflection and not much he can do on that. The one I talked about and the other faceoff goal where we missed coverage in front of the net. It wasn't an easy game but as I know Henrik and as everyone does, he's going to get better."
  • On Klein, "like the rest of our group he had some moments but it's not an easy situation. He's been out for a long time, not a lot of practice time. I thought that for the most part it would alright."
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New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello, front, of Norway, is defended by Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, behind, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (Ryan Kang/AP)
New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello, front, of Norway, is defended by Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, behind, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (Ryan Kang/AP)

First Period

5:54 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Marc Staal, Mika Zibanejad

8:55 ANA Patrick Eaves; Assists: Cam Fowler, Ryan Gretzlaf

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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defensman Kevin Klein (8) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Matt Nieto (83) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defensman Kevin Klein (8) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Matt Nieto (83) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

8:14PM: Alain Vigneault spoke with the media prior to tonight's game against the Ducks and said (NYR):

  • "On D, Kleiner is going to go in for Dan. I didn't want two injured guys in at the same time and Dan got a start yesterday, obviously not an easy situation, especially that type of injury where you don't skate much and don't do a lot of off-ice conditioning. Felt we would get him in last night, get Kleiner in tonight and we will go from there, obviously Hank is in tonight."
  • On the D pairs, "exact same two and Kleiner just goes in for Dan."

7:06PM: Kevin Klein will replace Dan Girardi in the Rangers lineup tonight and skate with Ryan McDonagh. (NYR)

The Rangers will go with the same group of forwards as last night.

Tags: Kevin Klein
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Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

In his return to the Rangers lineup last night, Dan Girardi had an assist and played 20:03.

Girardi had one shot on goal, 1 shot attempt blocked, 1 shot that missed the net, 3 hits, 3 giveaways and 2 blocked shots.

He played 6:41 in the first, 7:26 in the second and 5:56 in the third period while also killing 2:31 on the PK.

Girardi said on MSG after the game he knew his return wouldn't be perfect but that he focused on playing hard, blocking shots and throwing some hits.(MSG)

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

Henrik Lundqvist will return to the Rangers lineup tonight and make his first start 3/7.

The eight game stretch that he missed due to injury was the second longest in his career, behind the 24 games he missed with that throat/neck injury two years ago.

It's only the third time in Lundqvist's career that he has missed at least seven games due to injury, with this current streak, the stretch two years ago and when he missed 7 games at the end of his rookie season due to a hip flexor.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Mar 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save in front of Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Mar 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save in front of Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Antti Raanta made 30 saves last night to pick up his fourth shutout of the season.

Raanta said that he thinks he was playing too aggressive in the past few games and that he focused on letting the puck come to him against the Kings. (Newsday)

Alain Vigneault said that Raanta made "all the timely saves" against the Kings and was able to hold the fort for the Rangers after they turned the puck over.

Tags: Antti Raanta
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Mar 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates with center Mika Zibanejad (93) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) after an open net goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Staples Center. The Rangers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Mar 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates with center Mika Zibanejad (93) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) after an open net goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Staples Center. The Rangers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

With a win tonight the Rangers can clinch a spot in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Rangers need two points either gained or not gained by the Islanders to clinch a playoff spot.

The Rangers are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot for the 7th straight season and for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons.

The only season the Rangers didn't make the playoffs, 2009-10, they finished one point out after losing in a shootout on the last day of the season.

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media after last night's win over LA and said (NYR):

  • On Raanta, "he no doubt made all the timely saves tonight. We had a few turnovers and they got some Grade A looks and he made the saves. The difference is obviously from that end and we are able to score a timely PP goal. We needed to work on our PK, Kreids took a few penalties 200ft from our net and we worked on our PK."
  • On the playoff style of the game, "there were some areas of our game that I liked and some areas where we need to be better. We knew that type of game, heavy forechecking and puck possession game that they play. In the first half of the game we did alright and in the second half it slipped a bit but that was when our goalie came in and our PP got us a timely goal."
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Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

Alain Vigneault said that Henrik Lundqvist will likely play 5-6, likely 6, of the Rangers 8 remaining games this season.

Vigneault said the decision to start Lundqvist tomorrow was made after chatting with goalie coach Benoit Allaire, who felt that Sunday's 6PM start would be a "better fit."

Starting with tomorrow's game it is likely that Lundqvist will play in at least 5 straight games (ANA, SJ, PIT, PHI, WSH) before the Rangers end the season with a back to back in Ottawa and then at home against Pittsburgh.

In the 14 starts before his injury Lundqvist was 9-4-1 with a save percentage of .931.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Mar 7, 2017; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with center J.T. Miller (10) left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) defenseman Brendan Smith (42) and defenseman Brady Skjei (76) in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Mar 7, 2017; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with center J.T. Miller (10) left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) defenseman Brendan Smith (42) and defenseman Brady Skjei (76) in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Tonight against LA the Rangers are expected to start with the following lines:

  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
  • JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner
  • Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Rick Nash
  • Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg and Pavel Buchnevich

Buchnevich will return after being a healthy scratch in the game against the Islanders on Wednesday.

He said that some of the tweaks he made were to give his lineup balance and to allow him to play four lines while the Rangers play three games in four nights.

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Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Derek Stepan said that the Rangers are facing a "challenge" right now but also have an "opportunity"to prove that they can overcome adversity. (NY Post)

The Rangers are 4-4-2 in their past 10 games and have only scored four goals total in the past two games.

Stepan noted that adversity is always something that you will face during the playoffs. (NY Post)

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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Kevin Klein, who has been out since 2/21 with a back injury is ready to return and will play soon for the Rangers, Alain Vigneault said on Friday. (Zipay)

Vigneault said that he did not want two recently injured defensemen return in the same game. (NYR)

He said that he didn't know which game Klein would return in but did say "at some point in the next three games he is going to play.

Tags: Kevin Klein
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Alain Vigneault met with the media in LA earlier today after Rangers practice and said (NYR):

  • Is Henrik playing tomorrow, "no. We will wait until Sunday. It's a 6PM game Sunday and I want him to play 2 of the 3. It makes more sense to play Sunday. We are not going to skate Monday, we will have a morning skate on Tuesday and after talking it over with Benny that is what we decided to do."
  • "He's ready, he could play tomorrow without a doubt. With the 7:30 start and then the 6PM start Benny felt it was a better fit for him."
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New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

6:05PM: The Rangers have announced that Dan Girardi will return to the Rangers lineup tomorrow against LA and will be paired with Ryan McDonagh. (NYR)

Girardi has missed the past 12 games while a wound on his ankle healed.

He has 4 goals and 8 assists this season for the Rangers with an average of 18:57 per game, 94 hits, 149 blocked shots, 7 takeaways and 38 giveaways.

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Jan 3, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Madison Square Garden.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jan 3, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

5:43PM: Alain Vigneault confirmed that Raanta will start on Saturday and that Lundqvist will start on Sunday and Tuesday. (Zipay)

5:21PM: Henrik Lundqvist announced that he will start on Sunday against the Ducks. (NYR)

This will be Lundqvis'ts first start since he was injured in the Rangers win over Florida on 3/7.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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4:12PM: The lines being used at practice today are (Zipay):

  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
  • Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Rick Nash
  • Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller
  • Pavel Buchnevich, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast

4:05PM: At Rangers practice in LA today, the defense pairs being used are (Brooks):

  • Ryan McDonagh & Dan Girardi
  • Marc Staal & Nick Holden
  • Brady Skjei & Brendan Smith

Steve Zipay says that it looks like Pavel Buchnevich will be in for Tanner Glass.

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Feb 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) waits for a faceoff during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Rangers beat the Sabres in overtime 2 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Feb 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) waits for a faceoff during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Rangers beat the Sabres in overtime 2 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Mats Zuccarello has played in close to 90 games since September due to the Rangers schedule, Olympic Qualifications for Norway and the World Cup. (Nettavisen)

He has played in all 74 games for the Rangers, 3 for Norway and 9 for Team Europe (3 preseason, 6 tournament).

Zuccarello said that he doesn't let the amount of games he has played so far this year enter his mind when he is on the ice. (Nettavisen)

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The NY Chapter of the PHWA has nominated Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi for the Masterton Trophy which is given annually to "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

Mats Zuccarello was one of the finalists  for the award last season but did not win.

Dominic Moore won the award in 2014 while with the Rangers.

Marc Staal was the Rangers nominee in 2015.

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) reacts as he skates off the ice after losing to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) reacts as he skates off the ice after losing to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

The Rangers have now allowed at least one shorthanded goal against in EIGHT straight games.

The Rangers have allowed 10 goals on their past 27 chances shorthanded

Alain Vigneault said that this is like the cold streak that the Rangers PP was on recently and that "sooner or later" the PK will turn the corner in the same way that the PP has.

Vigneault added, "we have the personnel to get the job done and we will."

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Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) shoots and scores a goal in front of New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) shoots and scores a goal in front of New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Rick Nash has goals in consecutive games for the first time since before the Christmas break.

He has 2 goals and 5 shots in the past two games after going 9 games without a goal.

Nash said after his goal in New Jersey and after his goal against the Islanders that he is "here" & "paid" to score goals. (NY Post)

Tags: Rick Nash
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The Rangers have signed UFA goaltender Chris Nell of Bowling Green State Univeristy.

Nell, 22, was undrafted and went 17-14-2 this past season for BGSU with a 2.15 GAA and .916 save percentage.

From the Rangers release, "Over his final eight appearances of the season, Nell posted a 7-1-0 record, along with a 1.26 GAA, a .957 SV%, and 3 SO, and he registered three consecutive shutouts from Feb. 11 vs. Mercyhurst to Feb. 25 vs. Alabama-Huntsville. He was named the NCAA's First Star of the Week, as well as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, for the week ending on Feb. 26, as he stopped all 71 shots he faced in two appearances."

In his college career he went 41-29-10 with a GAA of 2.07, 11 shutouts and a save percentage of .922.

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Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) shoots against New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (34) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) shoots against New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (34) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Tanner Glass replaced Pavel Buchnevich in the Rangers lineup last night after being a scratch for two straight games.

  • Glass played 6:50, had a fight in the second period, 1 shot on goal and 2 hits.
  • He played 2:45 in the first, 2:01 in the second and 2:04 in the third.

Alain Vigneault said before the game that due to some bumps and bruises the Rangers had some game time decisions and he said after the game that the opponent being the Islanders also played into the decision.

Vigneault said I just thought that making those two changes would help us out and for the most part our group as a whole played a strong game."

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Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) reacts as he skates off the ice after losing to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) reacts as he skates off the ice after losing to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

The Rangers out-shot the Islanders 36 to 28 (28-21 at 5 on 5) and out-attempted the Islanders 71 to 54, (54-41 at 5 on 5)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers played a "strong game,' had "good looks" offensively and defensively didn't give up much.

He said, "we came out and played a good game, it was a hard fought battle and we just got on the wrong side of a couple of bounces in the third."

Antti Raanta said that it was the first "really good 60 minutes at home" in some time and that the Rangers were the "better team" but didn't have "the luck." (Rangers Game Notes)

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Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Magnus Hellberg (45) makes a glove save against the New York Islanders during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Magnus Hellberg (45) makes a glove save against the New York Islanders during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Isles and said:

  • "the way we came out, we played a strong game. We had some real good looks, defensively we didn't give up much. We got a little unlucky in the third period as far as bounces on our PK. The only way to get the right bounces is to continue to work smart and hard. That is what this group is gonna do. We came out and played a good game, it was a hard fought battle and we just got on the wrong side of a couple of bounces in the third."
  • On missing chances offensively, "give their goalie credit, he made some big saves and give them credit also. They are battling hard and they came up with a solid effort also."
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GEICO SportsNite: NYI@NYR 00:01:04
Alain Vigneault, Ryan McDonagh and John Tavares break down the game between the crosstown rivals as the Islanders defeated the Rangers, 3-2.

The Islanders scored two goals in the third period to defeat the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, 3-2.  >> Read more

First Period

  • 2:46 NYR Mats Zuccarello (Power Play); Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Derek Stepan

Second Period

  • 3:40 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Anthony Beauviller, Nick Leddy
  • 6:36 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Oscar Lindberg, Nick Holden

Third Period

  • 5:01 NYI Nikolay Kulemin (Power Play); Assists: Anthony Beavuillier, Joshua Ho-Sang
  • 12:38 NYI Andrew Ladd (Power Play); Assists: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal with forward Oscar Lindberg (24) and forward Pavel Buchnevich (89) during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal with forward Oscar Lindberg (24) and forward Pavel Buchnevich (89) during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

11:14PM: Asked about putting Glass and Kampfer in, Alain Vigneault said that it had somehwat to do with it being a back to back, "a little bit of that, a little bit of the opponent also. I just thought that making those two changes would help us out and for the most part our group as a whole played a strong game."

8:02PM: The Rangers have confirmed that Buchnevich and Clendening are scratched.

7:47PM: According to the line rushes in warmups, Tanner Glass will replace Pavel Buchnevich and Steven Kampfer will replace Adam Clendening in the Rangers lineup tonight. (Brooks)

Alain Vigneault said earlier in the day that the Rangers had some gametime decisions relating to bumps and bruises in the second part of a back to back.

Tags: Adam Clendening, Pavel Buchnevich, Steve Kampfer, Tanner Glass
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New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

The Rangers return to MSG tonight having lost six straight on home ice and face an Islanders team that is currently three points out of a playoff spot.

Alain Vigneault was asked about matching the Islanders desperation tonight and said that the Rangers don't have a checkmark by their name for the playoffs yet and that "we will come ready to play tonight."

On playing at home, Vigneault said that the Rangers just need to put a 60 minute game together on home ice.

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Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Red Wings won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to tonight's game against the Isles and said (NYR):

  • On the lineup, "I have some gametime decisions to make. Back to back, some bumps and bruises and we will probably decide during warmups. There is a possibility up front and a definite possibility on defense."
  • Hank is doing real well. If you'd ask him he would probably want to play tonight but we will get through what we decided before, he will skate today, skate in LA and then he will get in 2 of the 3 games on that trip."
  • Which games, "not sure if it's Saturday or Sunday, we are still looking at the different options there but he should be able to play two of the three games."
  • More on Hank, "I would say that if we really need him tonight he might play. That is how good he has felt, he is that close. He has been working hard and right now it's about us being smart about this and that is what we are doing."
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Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

11:54AM: Alain Vigneault said that Antti Raanta will start tonight against the Islanders but that Henrik Lundqvist is likely to play 2 of the 3 games on the Rangers upcoming road trip. (NYR)

The Rangers play in LA on Saturday, Anaheim on Sunday and San Jose next Tuesday.

It had been suggested that the Rangers were targeting their California trip as a time when Lundqvist could return.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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11:41AM: The Rangers are conducting their morning skate today and the following players are on the ice: Tanner Glass, Steven Kampfer, Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel, Kevin Klein, Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist. (NYR)

The Rangers announced yesterday that the players on the ice this morning would be the "extras."

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Mar 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) hits New Jersey Devils left wing Joseph Blandisi (64) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Mar 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) hits New Jersey Devils left wing Joseph Blandisi (64) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Rangers had 68 shot attempts against the Devils last night, compared to the 41 that the Devils had.

The Rangers had 14 hits, the Devils had 15 and the Rangers forced the Devils into 11 giveaways compared to only 3 for the Rangers.

JT Miller said that it was a "playoff-type game" and that everyone put their bodies on the line. (NY Times & Newsday)

Antti Raanta said that there was a lot of "emotion and energy" against the Devils last night and that overall it was a "pretty solid 60" for the Rangers. (NY Post)

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 (AP)
(AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Devils and said:

  • On the battle level, "it was a competitive game, no doubt there. Both teams, and we talked about this prior to the game, their top line, I don't know how they are playing against other teams but against us they are giving us a handful, lots of speed and skill. For the most part both teams battled hard, made plays, lots of physicality and we were able to come back and tie it up. In OT we had some looks and they were able to make us pay when we missed the net and they came down 2 on 1."
  • On the emotion in the game, "every game is competitive and there is no doubt that there was some physicality and some bad blood in there. That is part of hockey and we need to refocus because we have another tough matchup tomorrow night."
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Raanta positive following loss 00:00:28
Rangers goalie Antti Raanta talks about the 3-2 loss against the New Jersey Devils and how the Rangers played well despite the result.

Second Period

15:16 NJD John Quenneville (Power Play); Assists: Joseph Blandisi, Pavel Zacha

16:53 NYR Oscar Lindberg; Assists: Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich

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Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) skates during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) skates during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Rick Nash has not scored in the four games since he returned from injury and hasn't scored in 9 games overall, dating back to 2/26 against Columbus.

Nash has put 44 shots on goal during his nine-game scoreless streak and has a shooting percentage of 2.3% during that stretch.

In 60 games last season Nash had 15 goals and 21 assists, with a shooting percentage of 8.2% in 16:56 per game.

Tags: Rick Nash
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