The Toronto Maple Leafs will be gunning for their fourth straight win as the New York Rangers pay a visit to the Air Canada Centre tonight. Sure, two of the three wins in this streak have come via the shootout, but the Leafs will take it; it’s their first three-gamer since late October.
The Rangers are starting to turn things around after a rough first couple of months of the season. They’ve won four of their last six and still sit only two points out of that third and final playoff seed in the weak Metropolitan Division. Right now it’s a dogfight between the Rangers, New Jersey Devils and the current owner of that playoff spot, the Philadelphia Flyers.
Tim Gleason, who was brought in in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on New Year’s Day, will not be in the lineup tonight. Mark Fraser was paired with Gleason in practice, so it’s unlikely he’ll get in the lineup, either.
As expected, Jonathan Bernier will make his fifth straight start tonight. He owns the second-highest even strength save percentage in the league behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ben Bishop. It might be a while before we see James Reimer get another start.
The Rangers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 last night. Henrik Lundqvist was in net, so Cam Talbot will likely start tonight. Talbot has had a much better season than the struggling Lundqvist this year, and he was in net for the Rangers’ 2-1 shootout win against the Leafs on the night before Christmas Eve.
The Rangers made a trade with the Los Angeles Kings today. Dan Carcillo is now a Ranger and a seventh-round pick went to L.A. The Rangers lost agitator Derek Dorsett to a broken fibula blocking a shot in last night’s loss. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
If any other lineup information is released before puck drop, it’ll probably be made known in the thread, or on the Twitter machine below:
GO LEAFS GO!