In a nationally televised matinée, the New York Rangers will take part in a solid appetizer for the NFL’s conference championship games.
They’ll look to emerge victorious in the said showdown, an Original Six matchup against the Detroit Red Wings (12:30 PM, NBC).
The Rangers (29-16-1) will have three more games before entering the All-Star break, and they’ll look to get a winning streak going, having emerged victorious against another Original Six opponent in Toronto on Thursday night, a 5-2 victory. Brady Skjei opened up the scoring for the Rangers in the first period, followed shortly after by Pavel Buchnevich, who now has at least one point in the past eight games he has played. JT Miller scored the game winner in the second period, while Michael Grabner added two more goals in the third to put it away, pushing his team-high tally to 21 on the year. Henrik Lundqvist recovered from a tough outing on Tuesday night against Dallas to make 23 saves.
Meanwhile, Detroit (20-19-7), struggling to keep their active playoff streak of 25 consecutive years in tact, recently saw a three-game winning streak end on Friday night, dropping a 3-2 overtime game to the Buffalo Sabres. Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm had the goals, but the Wings were unable to preserve separate leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
This will be the second of three meeting between the Rangers and Red Wings, with Detroit winning the first matchup 2-1 at the lone Madison Square Garden visit this season, back on October 19. Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers less than two minutes in, but the Rangers were stymied by Jimmy Howard afterwards, the goalie making 32 saves the rest of the the way. Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored the Red Wing goals. This will be the second-to-last visit to Joe Louis Arena for the Rangers, the final coming on March 12.