Rangers Head to Vancouver in Possible Torts Swan Song
The Rangers head to Rogers Center tonight, in what they hope will be just another stepping stone in their journey towards the post-season.
And make no mistake about it, this is just another stepping stone.
Sure, head coach Alain Vigneault will want to beat his former squad on their own ice. There’s still some bad blood there. And former Rangers coach John Tortorella? He’ll be looking for redemption from when these two teams first met on November 30th at the Garden, a contest that resulted in a 5-2 victory for the Rangers. Tortorella enters this game very much on the hot seat however, his Canucks are five points out of the 2nd Wild Card spot in the West with only six games remaining.
Chris Kreider recorded a hat trick in that November game, but Kreider won’t be around to repeat the feat tonight as he remains sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury. As a result, Vigneault has had to shift his lines in recent games. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Post, Carl Hagelin practiced on the left wing alongside Derek Stepan on Monday. Dominic Moore was also moved up to center the Brad Richards/Martin St.Louis line.
Henrik Lundqvist will almost certainly get the start between the pipes tonight after having Sunday night off when the Rangers traveled to Edmonton, a game that resulted in a 5-0 victory and a shut out for backup goaltender Cam Talbot. The Rangers have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL as of late, winning six of their last seven contests. They remain two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Metro Division with 88 points. The Flyers head to St.Louis tonight to take on the Blues.
FULL TILT FORECAST: This is a game the Rangers should win. Their depth and goaltending will prove to be the difference over a largely inferior club.
Final Score: Rangers 3 Canucks 1