With the Blueshirts coming off back-to-back 4-0 victories, the Rangers will take on the Winnipeg Jets who are as desperate as they come this late into the season (7:00 EST, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsJets
5thNHL Standing Rank19th

Previous Game

               The Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-0. It was a comfortable game for the Blueshirts as they took care of business and didn’t give the Red Wings anything to build momentum. The bad news is that Kaapo Kakko who had just returned from an injury suffered a lower-body injury and will once again be out of the lineup. Alexis Lafreniere moved up into Kakko’s spot and he made a statement scoring two goals against Detroit. On Lafreniere’s second goal – he went between his legs to get around Dylan Larkin and defeat the goaltender who also bit on the fake. This goal will finish as a top-ten goal of the year on NHL Network.

               “I fully expect him (Kakko) to be back for the playoffs,” said head coach Gerard Gallant after practice on Monday. Gallant is calling him week-to-week but thinks there is a chance he could play in the final two or three games of the regular season.


               The Blueshirts will look to string three-in-a-row and keep pace with the Carolina Hurricanes for the Division lead. The Hurricanes defeated the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night and have now taken a two-point lead over the Rangers. Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg will put the Metropolitan division foes on the same number of games played.

               Andrew Copp will be playing his former team for the first time in his career. Copp was a fourth-round pick of Winnipeg in 2013 and had been with their organization his entire career until this year’s trade deadline. The 27-year-old currently has 13 points in 13 games as a member of the Rangers. Despite a small sample size, Copp’s current point-per-game pace is the best of his career.

               As games get fewer, you have to wonder if Gallant will start to rest players as he did with Lafreniere. Following his rest, the former first-overall pick scored two goals in his return game. The chance of rest increases as the games get fewer and fewer.

               Igor Shesterkin is expected to get the start in goal for the Blueshirts. Shesterkin shutout the Jets in Winnipeg during the first meeting between the two teams. Of course, with Gallant, you never really know until 30 minutes before the game. It wouldn’t shock me though if Gallant went with Shesterkin against Winnipeg and Georgiev against the Islanders on Thursday.


               The Jets enter Tuesday night’s game with their season potentially on the line. With a defeat in regulation against the Rangers and a victory by the Los Angeles Kings, the Jets will officially be eliminated from playoff contention.

               Winnipeg will have to win without their top center Mark Scheifele who isn’t on the team’s four-game road trip due to an upper-body injury. Paul Stastny will center the Jets’ top line with Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers. Connor currently has 87 points in 73 games including 43 goals. His running mate Ehlers has only played in 56 games this season and he has 51 points.

               Playing with an extra edge will be Morgan Barron as he returns to Madison Square Garden. Barron was a sixth-round pick by the Blueshirts who was showing a lot of promise at Cornell. The Halifax native couldn’t crack the Rangers lineup under Gallant and was ultimately involved in the trade that sent Copp to New York. Barron has two points in eight games as a member of the Jets.

               With their season on the line, it would be shocking if Winnipeg didn’t start Connor Hellebuyck in the net. Hellebuyck is having a down season for his standards as he holds just a .909 save percentage. The former Vezina Trophy winner has a record of just 27-27-10 on the season.

Key to the game

               The key to the game for the Rangers will be shutting down the Jets’ stars on the top two lines. If they can pin guys like Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois in their own end, then there could be a lot of goals in this game for the Rangers. Since the beginning of April, Wheeler has a plus-minus of a minus ten while Dubois isn’t much better at a minus seven.

Projected Lineup










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