— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) March 23, 2016
Being jerked around like a yo-yo, the fan of the New York Rangers understands how much is on the line tonight against Boston.
- New York Rangers (41-24-8)
- Boston Bruins (39-26-8)
- NHL, Today, 8:00 PM on NBCS, Full Preview
- Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
With only nine games left in the 2015-16 NHL regular season campaign, these New York Rangers have officially hit the stretch run. And currently only sitting two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the No. 2 spot in the Metropolitan Division, everything becomes intensified.
Every shift, every shot, every pass, every questionable Alain Vigneault lineup decision – which remarkably always buries the more talented youngster (hello Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei) – becomes that much more important.
Throw the fact that the Pens have one game in hand, the New York Islanders are just five points back with two in hand, and the Philadelphia Flyers have suddenly decided to rise up from the dead, and all of Rangerstown suddenly starts sweating.
Take tonight for example. The Blueshirts will welcome in the Boston Bruins to Madison Square Garden for a nationally televised game on NBC Sports’ Rivalry Night.
The first order of business revolves around the status of Rick Nash. He skated this morning and should be good to go tonight.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 23, 2016
Defensively, with Dylan McIlrath still on the mend, the blueline should remain the same.
For Boston, a recent west coast trip has seen them fall to third in the Atlantic Division, behind both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
One uncertainty on the Bruins side was the availability of starting goaltender Tuukka Rask. He did, however, take part in pregame warmups:
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 23, 2016
Obviously, it will be Henrik Lundqvist starting between the pipes for the Rangers.
With only nine games to go, tonight’s matchup against a battle-tested, experienced Boston squad can showcase much of what we should expect come tournament time.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 23, 2016