The Blueshirts are in Boston for their final road game of the regular season when they take on a potential first-round playoff matchup (3:00 P.M. on ABC)

RangersNHL RankingsBruins
3rdNHL Standing Rank10th

Previous Game

               The Rangers defeated the Islanders by the score of 6-3 to finish the season series tied with two wins each. Andrew Copp exploded for a first-period hat trick but later left the game with a lower-body injury. In the second period, the Rangers got a power-play goal from Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome’s 20th goal of the season. And in the third period, Ryan Reaves tallied his fourth of the season. Alex Georgiev won his 7th straight game with 26 saves. With the win, the Blueshirts clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

               “We want to play in front of our fans,” said Strome. “I think we’re more comfortable at home, just with that energy the crowd can provide. We’ve done a great job on the road this year, but anytime you get to play at home at MSG is pretty special.”


               After sealing their fourth-straight win, the Rangers will go to Boston for their final road game of the season. The Blueshirts have a road record of 25-13-2 which is tied for the second-most points on the road in the NHL.

               New York will be short a few forwards on their trip to Boston as they look for their fifth-straight win. Kaapo Kakko remains out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. Kakko skated on his own before practice on Friday.

               “I still think he’s (Kakko) going to play games next week,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “But I’m not trying to put pressure.”

               Copp wasn’t the only one to leave Thursday’s game as Filip Chytil also left the game and did not return. Copp has a lower-body injury while Chytil has an upper-body injury. Gallant said both were day-to-day but would not play in Boston. Both are expected to be ready for the playoffs.

               With two forwards coming out of the lineup, expect a combination of Greg McKegg, Jonny Brodzinski, and Julien Gauthier to fill the void. McKegg and Brodzinski seem likely to crack the lineup.

               Igor Shesterkin is slated to start in goal after receiving rest in the previous game. Shesterkin is coming off back-to-back shutouts and hasn’t allowed a goal in 133:18 of play.


               With the Rangers winning the first two matchups, the Bruins will be looking to get a confidence-boosting win against a team they may see in the first round. Boston is currently sitting in the first wildcard position and trails Tampa Bay by three points for the third seed in the Atlantic Division. They are also tied with the Washington Capitals at 99 points for the seeding of the two wildcard positions. Boston has a game in hand and the first wildcard position will play the Metropolitan Division winner while the second wildcard position will play the Florida Panthers.

               Like the Rangers, the Bruins are struggling with injuries and it’s not clear who will and who won’t be available. David Pastrnak, Hampus Lindholm, and Linus Ullmark have all been unavailable for the Bruins in recent games. The trio is listed as day-to-day and any of the three could have a role to play on Saturday. All of them have been practicing in recent days as their returns appear imminent. Ullmark is the most likely to be available and he could even start against the Rangers. If he wasn’t ready, expect Jeremy Swayman to start and Troy Grosenick could continue to backup.

               If Pastrnak is unavailable, the Bruins will continue to try and find a solution for their top-six. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has split Pastrnak from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to give the team more depth. Jake DeBrusk has joined the top line while Pastrnak has played with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula. Without Pastrnak, Cassidy has been unable to find a suitable replacement and has rotated players such as Craig Smith and Charlie Coyle.

What to Watch

               One storyline to keep an eye on in this game is with Bruins forward Marchand and Rangers forward Artemi Panarin. At the end of the first meeting, Marchand said something to Panarin in the games dying seconds which prompted the Russian to throw his glove across the bench. In the second meeting, Marchand wasn’t available and there were no major fireworks. It will be worth keeping an eye on the two team’s superstars and their tougher guys to stand up for their teammates.

Projected Lineup










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