After a very important win in Pittsburgh, the Rangers will travel to Detroit in hopes of expanding their lead over the Penguins to three points (7:30 P.M. EST, TNT).

RangersNHL RankingsRed Wings
4thNHL Standing Rank24th

Previous Game

               The Rangers set a franchise record and league-leading 23rd win comeback victory of the season. After undeservingly trailing 1-0 after the first intermission, the Blueshirts continued their high-tempo play and were rewarded with goals from Frank Vatrano and Braeden Schneider in the second period. To start the third period, the Rangers got a power-play goal from Chris Kreider for his 45th goal of the season. The Penguins pushed hard in the third period and ultimately made it a one-goal game but the Rangers worked hard and came away with a deserving road win. Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves including a couple of big saves in the final minute to keep the game from getting level. Sometimes it’s not the number of saves but the timing of them.


               After Tuesday night’s win, the Rangers will be right back at it against the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit won the first meeting in a shootout – courtesy of 37 saves from Thomas Greiss. The biggest question entering this game is will the Rangers get the return of Ryan Strome? Strome missed Tuesday night’s game due to a lower-body injury but he did travel with the team. Head coach Gerard Gallant wouldn’t rule him out for Wednesday’s game in Detroit. Even if Strome could be available, the Rangers could opt the side of caution and keep him on the sideline for another game.

               Andrew Copp continued his impressive play as he extended his point-scoring streak to five games (including all four since joining the Rangers). Not to be outdone, Vatrano scored his fifth goal in as many games since being acquired from Florida. These two guys along with Tyler Motte on the fourth line have significantly improved the Rangers’ play at even strength compared to the problems they were having earlier in the year. This is also being done without Kaapo Kakko and Kevin Rooney who are each expected to return in early April.

               One thing Gallant will be hoping improves is the Rangers’ penalty kill. Since they last played Detroit, the Rangers’ penalty kill has allowed 12 goals on just 49 chances (75.5%). The Blueshirts‘ penalty kill has been heading in the wrong direction for a little over a month and it is something they have to get sorted out. They have looked good when it comes to the other team breaking into their defensive zone but once they get set up teams have been finding ways of scoring goals. On Tuesday, it was a shot through traffic from Sidney Crosby that Shesterkin never saw. They may have been unlucky on more than one occasion during this stretch but their PK ranks just 23rd in the league since the last time they played the Red Wings.

               Alex Georgiev will likely be in goal following Shesterkin playing on Tuesday. Georgiev was victorious in his last start against Buffalo but he did allow four goals on 17 shots.

Red Wings

               With all due respect to the Red Wings, if the Blueshirts got to choose their opponent for the second game of a back-to-back, there are probably so few teams the Rangers would choose over the Red Wings at this moment. Detroit has struggled mightily since playing the Blueshirts on February 17th. Detroit has played in 15 games since and has a record of just 3-10-2. More alarmingly the Red Wings are giving out goals as if they were candy on Halloween night. Over the 15 games, Detroit has allowed 76 goals including two games where the opposing team hit double digits.

               Detroit is coming off one of those nights where they were embarrassed by the score of 11-2 to the Penguins. You know the Red Wings are going to come out hungry and at least not let one of those horrific nights happen in back-to-back games.

               Robby Fabbri is believed to have suffered a torn ACL for the third time in his career. Fabbri is expected to miss the rest of the season in what will unfortunately be the third time he has a long road back. Luckily for him, it’s not the same leg in which he suffered that injury twice already. The 26-year-old is a talented player and it’s just a shame he has to go through this once again.

               The good news on the injury front is that Jakub Vrana is back in the lineup after missing most of the season. Vrana was acquired from Washington in the trade that sent Anthony Mantha to the Capitals. Vrana has played in ten games this season and the Czech native has eight points including six goals. The Blueshirts haven’t seen Vrana yet this season.

Key to Victory

               The Red Wings have struggled mightily keeping the puck out of the net. The Rangers‘ relentless forecheck against Pittsburgh gave the Penguins all sorts of problems for one of the best defensive teams in the league. If the Blueshirts can keep that energy and forecheck up against a team that is struggling as bad as the Red Wings are, they should have no problem generating high danger scoring opportunities.

Projected Lineup










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