With the Sabres climbing the Eastern ladder quickly and with games in hand, tonight's game could be a February tipping point for both the Rangers and Thrashers.
The standings this morning:
5. Washington 55 29-16-10 68
6. Montreal 56 30-20-6 66
7. Rangers 56 29-23-4 62
8. Carolina 55 26-22-7 59
9. Atlanta 56 24-22-7 58
10. Buffalo 53 26-22-7 57 (and do not play until Sunday vs the Isles)
It's a 7:30 start here at Philips Arena, where I'll be headed in a few for the morning skates. Expect Henrik Lundqvist, who has sat the last two, vs. Ondrej Pavelec in nets, will confirm later. The other story line will be if the No. 24 Rangers power play, after two days of practice, is effective against the league's 29th ranked penalty-kill. The other side? Rangers are 7th on PK, Thrash 8th on PP.
Swing back here and on twitter.com/stevezipay for all-day and night coverage from Atlanta....