Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Six Things to Know Before Rangers-Wild
- It’s Cam Talbot, who has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 16 starts, against Darcy Kuemper (11-4-3) here in St. Paul. Henrik Lundqvist will play the next two games, Friday in Winnipeg and Sunday in MSG vs. the Sharks, per AV.
- It’s quite possible that Carl Hagelin will be moved to the left side of Derek Stepan and Rick Nash, with Chris Kreider moving to the Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis duo, to provide more net presence. “One thing that I liked in all our lines, and it’s the way to be successful offensively in the NHL because it’s a hard league to score, is you need a net presence,” Vigneault said. “All three forwards have to be willing to go to the front of the net, a lot of times, you need one guy that’s more in tune to going there and taking a little bit more abuse. With Hags and Richie and Marty, there’s three guys who really like to cycle, and nobody really likes to go to the front of the net.” Hagelin was benched in the final nine minutes of the 3-1 loss to Carolina Tuesday, and Vigneault admitted Thursday: “I wasn’t crazy about Hags (who has an empty-net goal and assist in nine games) and how that was working out.”
- Derek Dorsett will sit for the fourth time in six games and Dan Carcillo is back in. “Dorse played a real good game (in Carolina),” said Vigneault. “In the last seven or eight minutes, I went down to nine forwards and he was in those nine forwards… But our fourth line and our balance has looked a little bit better with Boyler and Donnie Moore and Dan. It’s nothing that Dorse has done wrong; he got hurt, somebody else had an opportunity and they seemed to run with it.”
- The Wild have lost three of four, but are 22-7-4 at home. The Rangers beat them at MSG, 4-1, on Dec. 22, with Talbot in goal. Kreider, Zuccarello, Pouliot and Hagelin scored.
- St. Louis, who hasn’t scored in four games, has had some similar droughts. There were four-game stretches in November and December, a nine-game span from 1/19 to 2/8. He is 3-6-9 in 16 games against the Wild. Richards is 7-15-22 in 19 games. Nash is 13-14-27 in 33.
- The NYR PK is 19-for-20 in the last seven games…Ds Justin Falk and Raphael Diaz are also healthy scratches…Ryan Haggerty, the RPI junior signed Wednesday, will join the team in NY on Sunday, but not expected to play immediately. First practice wouldn’t be until Monday, and the Rangers visit Ottawa Tuesday.