New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins, 12:30 PM at Madison Square Garden
Where To Watch: NBC
Where To Listen: Bloomberg Radio
Live In-Game Chat: 12:15 PM on BlueshirtsUnited.com
Sunday afternoon at The Garden the Rangers (41-15-7, 89 pts) look to increase their lead in the Eastern Conference when they host the Boston Bruins (38-22-3, 79 pts). The top-seeded Rangers enter play ten points up on second-place Boston for first place in the East, making this contest an extremely important game, with a possible swing of four points at stake. The best case scenario for the Blueshirts would be a victory in regulation, which would increase their conference lead to 12 points over Boston, while the reverese result in regulation would see the Bruins move within eight points of the Rangers. Both teams will have 18 games left to play following this Sunday matinee. The Rangers are a banged-up squad entering the game vs. Boston. Team captain Ryan Callahan has missed the previous two games with a contusion of his right foot. He briefly skated Saturday and is questionable for Sunday's game, as is defenseman Michael Del Zotto who missed Friday's game due to a sore hip and who did not practice with his teammates on Saturday. In addition Ruslan Fedotenko, who is nursing a sore foot after blocking a shot Friday in Tampa, did not practice Saturday, and neither did Dan Girardi, who was given a maintenence day to heal various aches and pains. The Rangers, who are 3-0-1 in their previous four games, will be playing their third game in the last four days. The Bruins, who were defated 3-2 by the Islanders Saturday afternoon, are just 4-4-1 in nine games since being shutout by the Rangers on February 14th.
This is the third of four meetings this season between the Rangers and the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins, and the first at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts swept both games played in Boston this season, winning 3-2 on a last second power play goal in overtime by Marian Gaborik on January 21st, and then riding Henrik Lundqvist's incredible 42-save effort to a 3-0 victory on February 14th. In two games against the Bruins this season Lundqvist has stopped 74 of 76 shots. Gaborik has two goals and one assist vs. Boston this year, while Ryan Callahan has also netted a pair of goals against the Bruins.
"We're not thinking about the playoffs yet. We still have a long way to go, and we still have a lot to improve on, plus other teams are really gunning for us now, and that's something we have to learn to play through. But we feel good about where we are and how we have gotten here, so far."-Brad Richards
By The Numbers
The Rangers have won each of their last four games against the Bruins dating back to last season, and have won eight of their previous ten against Boston.
Marian Gaborik has recorded four points (2-2-4) in the last two games, notching a goal and an assist both on Thursday against the Hurricanes and again on Friday against the Lightning. In his last five games Gaborik has seven points, scoring four goals and adding three assists in that span.