After suffering an embarrassing defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Rangers will host the St. Louis Blues before heading west for two tough games (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsBlues
18thNHL Standing Rank25th

Previous Game

The Rangers suffered their second straight defeat as they fell victim to the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks. And it was just the fact that they lost, it was the fact that many players appeared to just be going through the motions and not showing any emotion. Jacob Trouba tried to spark the team after a second period fight and throwing his helmet into the boards. The Rangers would make it a two-goal game multiple times, but ultimately were defeated 5-2.

               “We’re going through it,” Trouba said. “There’s a lot of the story left to be written. It’s not a done thing by any means, but it’s going on for a bit now and something needs to change. There needs to be a little more of a pushback from ourselves within.”

Rangers vs Blues

New York will now take on the only team that has been equally as disappointing as the Rangers have been this season – the St. Louis Blues. The Blueshirts were in the Eastern Conference Final last season and had Stanley Cup aspirations this season whereas the Blues were defeated in six-games by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions in the second round.

               Both teams will be looking at Monday night’s matchup as a game they will feel they need to win against a very vulnerable opponent. The Rangers enter the game having lost five of their last six games including defeats to the Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, and Chicago Blackhawks. St. Louis has also lost five of their last six games and that includes allowing at least four goals in every game during that stretch.

Filip Chytil is currently still listed as day-to-day. Ryan Carpenter was inserted into the lineup in Chytil’s absence and Jonny Brodzinski served as the extra forward. Brodzinski was recalled to the Rangers on Monday morning which likely means Chytil won’t be available against the Blues. Brodzinski took the morning skate centering the fourth line which likely means he will play over Carpenter.

               Igor Shesterkin is slated to get the start after Jaroslav Halak made the start against the Blackhawks. Shesterkin is coming off a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Senators. New York holds a home record of just 4-6-4 and they will be hoping Shesterkin can help turn their play on home ice around.

As mentioned, the Blues have a lot of problems of their own. Perhaps one of their biggest problems is their penalty kill. The Blues have the 31st ranked penalty kill and are allowing a power-play goal once in every three attempts. The Rangers power-play as struggled as of late but this will be the best matchup they have for the foreseeable future.

               Another issue has been the play of starting goaltender Jordan Binnington. Binnington was handed the reigns after the Blues couldn’t afford Ville Husso and he left in free agency. Husso took over as the starting goaltender last year, but St. Louis was already locked into Binnington long term. The one-time Stanley Cup winner has just an .895 save percentage and a goals-against average of 3.27. In addition, Binnington hasn’t done any favors for himself in the eyes of head coach Craig Berube. Binnington has had multiple instances this season where he takes his anger out on the opposing team and often delivers a cheap shot. His most recent antic took place in their previous game in which he took a cheap shot against Penguins forward Jason Zucker as he skated behind the net. Just a couple nights prior, Binnington tried to body check Jordan Staal, but Staal got the better of that exchange. Last season, Binnington swung his stick at then Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri’s head.

               “It’s got to stop,” said Berube. “It doesn’t help anything. Just play goal. Stop the puck.” Coaches will often defend their players, but Berube calling out his goalie for his antics is what needed to be done and was the right thing to do.

               Sammy Blais will be playing his former team for the first time. Blais was acquired by the Rangers last season and was injured for almost the entire season which caused Blais to miss both games against the Blues. On the other side of that trade, the Rangers sent Pavel Buchnevich to St. Louis and he will be returning to Madison Square Garden for the second time. Buchnevich is currently averaging a point-per-game with 19 points in 19 games.

What to watch

               Both teams have been slumping and desperately need a win. Which team will come out hungrier and show a desire to want to turn their ship around? It is getting to that point where both teams are starting to realize that if this continues, they won’t be a playoff team and will have regressed massively from last season.

Projected Lineup










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