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Tonight on NBCSN: Rangers can clinch first in East

Apr 1, 2012, 3:24 PM EDT

Rangers salute Getty Images

In the wake of Pittsburgh’s loss to Philadelphia this afternoon, the New York Rangers can wrap up top spot in the Eastern Conference tonight at MSG (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN). All the Rangers need is a point against the Bruins to claim home-ice advantage until at least the Stanley Cup finals, should they make it that far.

The Rangers are still in a race with Vancouver and St. Louis for the Presidents’ Trophy, so even if they clinch first in the conference tonight, at least some of their remaining three games (in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh, vs. Washington) will have meaning.

Henrik Lundqvist is set to make his ninth straight start in goal, leaving us to wonder how coach John Tortorella will handle goaltending duties down the stretch. Lundqvist is a workhorse and Martin Biron hasn’t been very good in 2012, but if the Rangers plan on making a deep run, it might not hurt to give the No. 1 a rest.

  1. hanktheking - Apr 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Martin Biron hasn’t been very good this season? He’s 12-5-2, with a 2.38 GAA and a .903 save %. That’s pretty darn good for a backup goalie, no? Furthermore, Torts said about 2 weeks ago that he wanted to start getting Hank in a groove, get him ready for the playoff grind. I’m sure we won’t see Biron again save maybe the last game of the season.

    • stakex - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Well he was talking about in 2012… but his 2012 numbers are horrible either. A couple bad games, but that to be expected from a backup.

  2. nydaniel - Apr 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    HASN’T been very good??
    Let’s see, Biron’s winning percentage is 63.5%.
    Lundqvist’s winning percentage is 64.4%.

    So by your definition Lundqvist is having a pretty crappy year.

    Jason Brough, star reporter. LOL

    • Jason Brough - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Biron’s save percentage in 2012 is .888 — 27 goals on 241 shots. Sorry, gonna put that in the “not very good” category. Unless you think Steve Mason (.892) is having a good season.

  3. mgd420 - Apr 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Read the passage he says 2012, not this season. Boron has been very good this year but has not been very good in the second half

    • stakex - Apr 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Thats not exactlly true either though. Hes 5-3-2 in 2012 with one shutout. Yes he has been roughed up a couple times in 2012…. but i certainly wouldn’t say he “Hasn’t been very good”. It should also be noted that he hasn’t played much, which makes it harder on a backup to come out and play at the top of his game.

      Either way, I expect Lundquist to get a couple games off before the playoffs. They have the East won, and I think its more important to give Lundquist a rest then worry about home ice for the cup finals. After all, they have a long way to go before they get there… and riding Lundquist hard now might make it a moot point.

  4. mgd420 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    He didn’t say he was horrible, just not very good. He has been a great backup this year no doubt. But he has thrown a few clunkers out there since the new year. The rangers were treading water while the pens surged so torts just rode hank to clinch the conference. I wouldn’t sit hank with a chance to sweep the b’s. But no way the king plays the season finale against the caps. However with games against the pens and flyers that might be the only game he sits

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