Another night, another “please win” game for the Rangers. This time around, New York isn’t playing a bad team like the Devils or Flyers. They are playing a solid Detroit team who should make the playoffs this season. Pavel Datsyuk is an absolute wizard with the puck. Seriously, just YouTube him. I did it for you. So containing him is priority numero uno. Easier said than done of course, as this team is again without Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Callahan, and Henrik Lundqvist.
Suit’s scouting report: Mike Babcock has his boys playing a 2-1-2 forecheck, but mix in a LW lock when they have a late lead. In their own zone, Detroit plays an overload, which is what the Rangers try to play. On the PP, the Wings employ an umbrella and a 1-3-1 formation, but use Zetterberg as a rover. Keep an eye on him. He’s all over the zone. On the penalty kill they change up their strategy depending on the opposition’s setup.
The Wings have been struggling to generate offense the past 3 games or so which has pushed Babcock to juggle his lines quite a bit, a strategy rarely seen in the NHL outside of the Rangers (I kid!). Hopefully the Blueshirts can grab an early lead, keep the Wings pressed in their own zone, and take the Detroit crowd out of it.
Rookie Cam Talbot makes his second straight start tonight.
PP1: Del Zotto-Richards, Kreider-Stepan-Brassard
PP2: McDonagh-J. Moore, Pouliot-Miller-Boyle
Game time is 7pm tonight. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.