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WATCH LIVE: Bruins host Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Bruins have clinched a playoff spot and will be in the postseason for the third straight year. Since Tampa Bay has already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy, Boston and Toronto are all but locked into the two and three seeds in the Atlantic and will likely play each other in the postseason for the second consecutive year. The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs in seven games last season before falling to the Lightning in the Second Round.

Entering Wednesday’s game, Boston leads Toronto by five points for second place and what would be home ice advantage in that opening round series. Both teams have six games remaining in their season.

The Rangers are eliminated from postseason contention and will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. New York has fully embraced its rebuild after selling off assets like Mats Zuccarello (to Dallas), Kevin Hayes (to Winnipeg) and Adam McQuaid (to Columbus) at the deadline.

At age 37, Henrik Lundqvist has had his lightest workload in years thanks to 23-year-old backup Alexandar Georgiev. Lundqvist’s next win will be the 450th victory of his career.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

WHAT: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
WHERE: TD Garden
WHEN: Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Rangers-Bruins stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

RANGERS
Brendan LemieuxMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Vladislav NamestnikovFilip ChytilVinni Lettieri
Jimmy VeseyLias AnderssonRyan Strome
Brendan SmithBrett HowdenBoo Nieves

Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalTony DeAngelo
John GilmourNeal Pionk

Starting goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

BRUINS
Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Pastrnak
Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciMarcus Johansson
Danton HeinenCharlie CoyleChris Wagner
Joakim NordstromNoel AcciariDavid Backes

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy
Torey KrugBrandon Carlo
Connor CliftonSteve Kampfer

Starting goalie: Jaroslav Halak

Six-time Emmy Award-winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Mike Milbury (analyst), and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live, hosted by Liam McHugh alongside U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk (analyst), Keith Jones and Bob McKenzie.

PHT Morning Skate: Hawerchuk’s cancer fight; NHLers on rules

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stomach cancer in August, saying he is optimistic as he battles “the fight of my life.” [TSN]

• Before Monday night’s game against Columbus, Mitch Marner paid tribute to seven-year-old Hayden Foulon, who passed away over the weekend after battling leukemia for the past six years. [Sportsnet]

• NHL players talk about the current rules they’d love to see changed: “Losing in a shootout, it’s probably the worst feeling ever. I’d rather, you know, lose it going against your opponents and fighting for it.” [Toronto Star]

Ben Bishop‘s home was damaged turned a tornado that hit the Dallas area on Sunday. A house that Tyler Seguin is currently selling was also damaged. The Stars forward moved to a different home last November. [Dallas Morning News]

• Why the struggling Blues need to find the “buy-in” again. [Post-Dispatch]

• Trade winds may be swirling around Kyle Turris, but his play has been strong for the Predators. [Nashville Post]

• Local boy Sam Lafferty is authoring a really nice story with the Penguins. [Tribune-Review]

• Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic has a lot of “old school” in him. [Calgary Herald]

• Should the Flyers trust Alain Vigneault’s process? [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

• Paul Maurice on how the Jets want to approach shot blocking. [Jets]

• A ranking of “worst to first” jerseys for the Jets. [Hockey by Design]

• The Rangers are “struggling” to find out what’s gone wrong during their current losing streak. [NHL.com]

• Andrew MacDonald has signed a one-year deal with SC Bern of the Swiss league. [Swiss Hockey News]

• Explaining Todd McLellan’s system for the LA Kings. [Frozen Royalty]

• Colby Saganiuk making impression with U.S. Under-17 team. [NHL.com]

• Ovie the Bulldog talks friendships, snacks and what he’d do as NHL commissioner for a day. [Dog o’Day]

• Finally, what’s a number worth? A pretty good haul for the Panthers’ Frank Vatrano:

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Russian hockey team fined for coach’s arson threat

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MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian hockey team has been fined after its coach threatened to set fire to a referee’s car.

The Kontinental Hockey League fined Amur Khabarovsk 300,000 rubles ($4,700) after coach Alexander Gulyavtsev shouted ”I’m going to set fire to your car in Perm,” a reference to the Russian city where both he and referee Viktor Gashilov are from.

Gulyavtsev was protesting a penalty awarded against his team in Monday’s game against Dynamo Moscow.

Gulyavtsev later claimed he meant the comments as ”a joke,” adding that ”I just said car, it’s not as if I said apartment.”

However, the KHL ruled the comments breached its rules on insulting and threatening officials. The league warned Amur that cases like this ”tarnish the image” of the league.

Dynamo Moscow won 5-1.

The Buzzer: Tarasenko’s three-point night; Nyquist nets OT penalty shot

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Three Stars

1. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues: The Blues forward had a hand in all three of their goals during a 3-1 defeat of the Avalanche. The loss was Colorado’s first regulation defeat of the season, while St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak. Tarasenko assisted on goals by Brayden Schenn and David Perron before being on the receiving end of this nice bank pass by Jaden Schwartz:

2. Michael Raffl, Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers built up a 5-0 lead by the end of the second period en route to a 6-2 win over the Golden Knights, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process. Raffl chipped in a pair of goals and added an assist for his first multi-goal game since March 15, 2016. Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny each recorded a goal and an assist, while Brian Elliott turned away 33 shots.

3. Anders Nilsson, Ottawa Senators: The Senators netminder put forth a strong effort during a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Nilsson stopped 41 shots as the Stars won consecutive games for the first time this season. This was the second straight start for the Swedish netminder where he faced at least 43-plus shots.

Highlights of the Night

• Raffl showed off his moves on this one:

Gustav Nyquist‘s penalty shot goal in overtime put the Blue Jackets over the Maple Leafs 4-3:

Factoids

Scores
Flyers 6, Golden Knights 2
Blue Jackets 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Blues 3, Avalanche  1
Stars 2, Senators 1

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Avs’ Rantanen leaves game with ugly-looking foot injury

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The last thing the red-hot Colorado Avalanche wanted to see was an injury to one of their star players. Off to a 7-0-1 start and atop the Central Division, things have been going well for a team many expect to take a large leap forward this season.

But now they might have to deal with a blow to their lineup after Mikko Rantanen suffered a lower-body injury during Monday’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The Avalanche forward was skating alongside the wall when his skate got caught in the ice and turned his foot in a very wrong direction. Rantanen, who did not make contact with any Blues player during the play, limped to the dressing room and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.

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Your foot should not be looking that way…

Rantanen has five goals and 12 points through eight games this season. He’s been relatively healthy in his three full NHL seasons, missing only 16 games since 2016-17.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.