Greetings from the Motor City where the Rangers and Red Wings, two of the NHL’s Original Six, will hook up for the 587th time in their history.
This is the third and final regular season meeting, where goals have been few and far between.
Jimmy Howard was spectacular in goal with 32 saves to beat the Blueshirts, 2-1, at The Garden back in October. In the second match, play was extended to overtime before J.T. Miller scored to give the Rangers a 1-0 win at Joe Louis Arena in late January.
It looks as though Detroit’s string of 25 consecutive playoff appearances will come to an end this season. As a result, this will mark the final visit to The Joe for the Rangers as the Red Wings will move to the new Little Caesars Arena next fall.
It was after a game at The Joe 35 years ago yesterday where Herb Brooks called out both Mike Rogers and Ron Duguay. Claiming their play was an “embarrassment to the organization and its’ fans,” Mike and Ron found themselves nailed to the bench. And this in a game when we actually won, 4-1! Hard to believe their play was that poor, but I suppose it was just another example of Herb being Herb. He did force you to be as good as you could be each and every night out.
For the current Rangers squad, they’re are coming off a 4-3 loss in Carolina. The good news, the power play finally showed some life with three goals. The not-so good news, the penalty kill gave up two in the third and the Hurricanes overcame a one-goal deficit to get the win.
3 KEYS TO RANGERS-RED WINGS
1. Puck Control
Detroit is most effective in a speed game and smart puck control. Sound familiar? What each team does with the puck and where they put it when under pressure will bear watching.
2. Penalty Kill
The Rangers penalty kill unit has given up three goals in the past two games. Nothing to be overly concerned about, but expect this special teams unit to be better with the return to the lineup of two important penalty killers, Rick Nash and Michael Grabner.
Henrik Lundqvist will be out of the lineup for the next two-to-three weeks due to a hip injury. Tonight’s game will mark the first of three back-to-back sequences over that time and Antti Raanta will be carrying the bulk of the mail. No reason to think that he won’t get the job done, but he will be called upon to do just that.
Rangers-Red Wings from Detroit tonight on the MSG Radio Network, 1050 AM New York. Pregame at 6:30 PM, puck drop a little after 7.
Check it out!