After Tuesday’s unraveling in Jersey, the Rangers are in St. Louis to take on a playoff bound St. Louis team that is actually shorthanded at the moment. The Blues lost Alex Steen for an extended period, joining Alex Pietrangelo on the injury train. That said, the Blues would need an epic collapse to miss the playoffs. If they weren’t in the Central, they’d be in first place.
The Rangers will be without Marek Hrivik tonight, so they will be going with seven defensemen in the lineup. No lines were given, but it’s safe to assume Dylan McIlrath will be rotating on the fourth line, as the “starting six” will be “healthy.” Both teams are shorthanded in some capacity, so this should be an interesting game.
Update: McIlrath is a scratch. Hrivik is in.
On the ice, Ken Hitchcock has the Blues running an aggressive 2-1-2 overload forecheck, but tend to switch to a 1-2-2 with a lead late in the period, though the way the Rangers are playing there’s probably no point on sitting back. They are fairly aggressive when it comes to defensive zone schemes, playing an overload style and collapsing down when the puck is down low. Their power play strategy is a 1-3-1, and their penalty kill formation is a hybrid.
Jaden Schwartz-Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tarasenko
Patrik Berglund-David Backes-Magnus Paajarvi
Robby Fabbri-Paul Stastny-Troy Brouwer
Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Dmitrij Jaskin
Jay Bouwmeester-Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson-Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson-Robert Bortuzzo
PK: Brodziak, Backes, Lehtera, Brouwer, Bouwmeester, Gunnarrson, Edmundson
Jake Allen gets the start
PK: Stepan, Moore, Lindberg, Fast, Boyle, Staal, Yandle, Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Scratches/Injuries: Rick Nash (leg), Dylan McIlrath (healthy)
Crazy Prediction: One more day without Eric Staal.