by Patrick Hoffman on 04/05/12 at 11:51 AM ET
UPDATE: According to Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Martin Biron will be in goal tonight for the Blueshirts:
Same #NYR lineup, Martin Biron in net vs #Pens. So Mike Rupp stays in.
While the New York Rangers have already clinched the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, the team still has two games left against two solid hockey clubs.
Tonight, the Blueshirts will be in Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the game has little significance for both clubs, it should still end up being a good hockey game between two clubs that are looking to get their game in order before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week.
It will be interesting to see who the Rangers go with in goal as starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist has a bruised right arm after hurting it against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. After the game, he said he had trouble gripping the stick so if I am the Blueshirts, I would not hesitate to start back-up goaltender Martin Biron tonight.
Against the Penguins tonight, the Rangers should focus on shutting down both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Going into the playoffs, the Penguins will more than likely be the top offensive hockey club and if the Blueshirts can find a way to shut them down tonight, it will certainly be a confidence boost heading into the postseason.
The Blueshirts should also continue working on their power play. The team has been able to put the puck in the net with the man advantage in recent games and come playoff time, special teams play is going to be crucial.
It should be a good hockey team between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference as well as a potential playoff preview should the teams manage to meet each other in the later rounds.
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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.
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