A team riding a 5-1 streak over six games, facing one of the worst teams in the league that just fired its entire coaching staff? Yea, this is the definition of a trap game. For the Rangers, this is the first of two remaining games against bad teams (Tuesday against the Devils being the second) before they play three straight against playoff-bound teams. At 8-8, a win tonight puts the team above .500 for the first time this season after starting 3-7.
As noted above, the Panthers just fired their entire coaching staff, so their systems here may be incorrect. But, before the firings, Florida ran a 1-2-2 forecheck. In the DZ, they ran a low zone collapse. On special teams, they ran a umbrella power play, and a box/diamond penalty kill. This probably changed with the new coaching staff. If it did, expect some blown coverages as the team learns to adapt to a new system.
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Derick Brassard-Brian Boyle-Benoit Pouliot
Brandon Mashinter-Derek Dorsett-J.T. Miller
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-John Moore
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start
PP1: Del Zotto-Richards, Kreider-Stepan-Brassard
PP2: McDonagh-J. Moore, Pouliot-Callahan-Zuccarello
Scratches: Rick Nash (concussion), Dominic Moore (oblique), Taylor Pyatt (concussion), Justin Falk (healthy)
Game time is 7pm tonight. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.