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Game 78: Staying hot in Colorado as the playoffs approach

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers are in Denver tonight to take on the Colorado Avalance, who have recently passed the Chicago Blackhawks for second in the Central Division. The Avs are playing for home ice against the Hawks in the first round, while the Rangers are playing to keep the distance between them and the Flyers at three points. The Rangers beat the Avs once, and are fully capable of doing it again, even without Ryan McDonagh. If you’re scoreboard watching, the Flyers and Blue Jackets face each other tonight as well.

On the ice, the Avs run a very aggressive style of play. On the forecheck it is a straight 2-1-2 without sitting on leads. In the defensive zone, the Avs play straight man-on-man, so expect a lot of pressure and rushed/hurried decisions. On special teams, the Avs run a 1-3-1 power play and a hybrid penalty kill with very active defensemen.

Rangers Lineup:

Offense

Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Brad Richards-Dominic Moore-Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Dan Carcillo-Brian Boyle-Derek Dorsett

Defense

John Moore-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Raphael Diaz-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (hand), Ryan McDonagh (shoulder), Ryan Haggerty (healthy), Justin Falk (healthy)

Game time is 9pm on MSG. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

16 Responses to “Game 78: Staying hot in Colorado as the playoffs approach”

  1. Tim B says:

    The tampa line is gonna light it up. Did St. Louis and Moore ever get playing time together? Obviously Richards was back in Dallas in 10-11. I like all 4 lines. Weird how that 4th line duo was broken up.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      You mean Dom Moore moving up? I think it was a brilliant idea on the part of the coach. Moore has been real good in the circles this year. I think he’s been at around 58% the last 2 months. That’ll help Richard & MSL in offensive zone situations. Richards put up better stats while playing wing this year.
      Having Carcillo & Dorsett on the 4th line is what’s best. They played better than they have if that’s possible in Vancouver. Very good game by them and Hagelin can chase down pucks for Nash & Stepan. Good lineup. Are we sure Staal isn’t going to play with Girardi on the top pairing? Is John Moore able to shutdown McKinnon & Landeskog?

    • Chris F says:

      I think I heard a stat that Moore and St Louis have played roughly 150 minutes of 5-on-5 minutes together.

  2. Bort says:

    Any word yet on McDonagh time line for returning?

    • Chris F says:

      Just day – to – day which could be the next couple of days or the rest of the regular season.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        If I were the coach, I’d keep him out until the playoffs unless the team falls apart. He’s been a beast all year. Let him heel before the playoffs begin.

  3. Bloomer says:

    Glad to see J Moore back in the lineup. One weakness the Rangers have while their dmen are good with the puck, they get knocked off the puck quite easily. Losing McDonagh will really expose how soft the rangers defence are.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      How is that? When are the Rangers D knocked off the puck. They carry it in deep all the time. Ranger D don’t get hit off the puck any more than any other teams defense. That’s a cheap observation. Girardi blocks 200 shots and has the same number of hits and he’s soft?

      • Bloomer says:

        Wasn’t talking about Danny G….Diaz and Stralman got knocked around like ragdolls in the Canuck game. The Bruins will eat them up in the playoffs.

        • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

          Well you said we would see how soft the Rangers defense are. Not 1 or 2 players. That means nothing if 2 of the defenseman are soft. Diaz is a puck mover. The Bruins defense is put together with bubble gum and spit. Dougie Hamilton is a slice of cheese. Krug is no bigger than Zuc. He can be pushed off the puck with ease.

  4. Chris F says:

    Well the Avs possession game has certainly improved since the Rangers last faced them. Geez.

  5. Bloomer says:

    This game looked like something out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, no hit hockey. Again the Rangers allow the opposition free reign in the wheelhouse as Tyson Barrie is left all alone in the slot and fires the tying goal pass Lundqvist.

    Ottawa and Carolina up next. I like to see McIIrath brought up for a couple of games as this team could use some toughness in their lineup.

    • Spozo says:

      McDonaghs not playing. How about they sacrifice some more sound defensive play to add a little bit of toughness. That sounds like a recipe for success.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      In do time,in due time big Mac will be here.