mika zibanejad, adam fox, chris kreider
New York Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

For the first time in March, the Rangers will have 18 skaters in their lineup. This is not a drill. The Rangers will actually have a full lineup tonight. K’Andre Miller is back, having served his suspension, and the league blessed the Rangers with an emergency call up after two failed tries last week. They also have a soft landing spot in Montreal, but it is also a trap game.

This is the stretch run for the Rangers where we will find out if what they did at the trade deadline made them into true contenders or pretenders. The powerplay units are shaken up, the lines are the same, and it’s Igor Shesterkin in net. All signs are pointing to this game being a chemistry game, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. They have another 18 games after this to figure it all out. So if things need to change, they need to change fast.

Results matter, of course, but this is now more about process and finding the right lines for the playoffs. We can overlook a cold streak in shooting, but we need to see dominant play driving and Shesterkin returning to form. Those are the key items.

Canadiens Lines

Rafael Harvey-Pinard-Nick Suzuki-Jesse Ylonen
Mike Hoffman-Jonathan Drouin-Josh Anderson
Rem Pitlick-Anthony Richard-Denis Gurianov
Michael Pezzetta-Chris Tierney-Alex Belzile

Mike Matheson-David Savard
Kaiden Guhle-Jonathan Kovacevic
Joel Edmundson-Chris Wideman

Sam Montembeaultgets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin-Vincent Trocheck-Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere-Filip Chytil-Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey-Barclay Goodrow-Jonny Brodzinski

Niko Mikkola-Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller-Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur-Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin gets the start.

Injuries: Ryan Lindgren (shoulder), Tyler Motte (head)

Crazy Prediction: Kane and Tarasenko with 3 points each

Game time is 7pm.


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