by Patrick Hoffman on 02/17/11 at 11:53 AM ET
After going three days without a game after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-3, the New York Rangers will be back in action tonight at Madison Square Garden against the Los Angeles Kings.
Both of these clubs are in the midst of a playoff race as the Blueshirts currently sit in the seventh spot in the eastern Conference while the Kings sit in the ninth spot in the Western Conference. The margin of error for each team is extremely small as the Rangers are only four points ahead of the ninth place Buffalo Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers while the Kings are just one point out of the eighth and final spot in the West.
With that said, tonight’s game is extremely important for both teams, especially the Rangers who will begin a span of three games in four days against solid hockey teams in the Kings, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. It is crucial that the Rangers get off to a good start and get as many points as possible so that come April, they’ll be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Tonight, the team will be without Wojtek Wolski (tweaked rib muscle) and Steve Eminger (healthy scratch) and in their place, Kris Newbury and Michael Del Zotto will be inserted into the lineup. Eminger’s game has definitely been a bit off but Del Zotto has not exactly been great for the Blueshirts either so it is definitely a curious move made by Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella.
No matter who is in the lineup tonight, the Blueshirts know that this is a big game and that everyone needs to be their best. According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, one thing Tortorella will do as an effort to get one of his best players going is use Marian Gaborik on the penalty kill tonight as a way to get him more involved in the game. Gaborik has played on the penalty kill before so this should not be a problem for him.
It’s a big game tonight for the Rangers and a start of a tough three games in a four day span. Coming away with two points tonight against the Kings certainly would be a good start for the Blueshirts.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: atlanta+thrashers, buffalo+sabres, john+tortorella, kris+newbury, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, steve+eminger, wojtek+wolski
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.