Facing a huge game for playoff implications tonight against the Coyotes, the Rangers could be without three key contributors in the lineup.
Martin St. Louis (flu), Derek Stepan (ditto) and John Moore all missed the morning skate, per Newsday. St. Louis and Stepan are being evaluated and will be gametime decisions, while Moore — who hasn’t played since Friday’s win over Columbus — is almost certainly out (with concussion symptoms).
The losses would be huge for New York, obviously. While St. Louis has struggled since coming over from Tampa Bay, he’s still an elite-level scorer while Stepan has been red-hot since the Sochi Olympics, with 13 points in 15 games.
If either can’t go, recently-signed NCAA standout Ryan Haggerty — RPI’s leading scorer this season — could possibly make his NHL debut.
The Rangers are in desperation mode and calling tonight’s game a virtual must-win. While they sit third in the Metropolitan Division heading into Monday’s play, they’re only three points up on Washington with 10 games to play and will play five of their final eight games away from MSG.
Given that all games are big from here on out, expect to see Henrik Lundqvist exclusively in goal down the stretch. Head coach Alain Vigneault suggested as much following Saturday’s 2-0 win over New Jersey, in which Lundqvist stopped all 21 shots faced for the shutout.
“Hank’s our guy,” Vigneault said, per the New York Daily News. “If we’re going to get in — everybody’s winning right now — it’s (going to be) because Hank plays like Hank.”
Update: Vigneault said the team would call up JT Miller from AHL Hartford on an emergency basis.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.