Skip to content

NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots

Mar 9, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), of Sweden, stops a shot on goal by Detroit Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader (8) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in New York. The Rangers won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) AP

NBC continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign today when the New York Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden at 12:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBC, you can also watch the game online.

If the Rangers and Red Wings have one thing in common, it’s that they both need these two points. If the season ended today, Detroit would advance to the playoffs with the second Wild Card spot while the Rangers would be the third seed in the Metropolitan Division, but they are only holding onto those spots by the smallest of margins

In terms of points, the Red Wings are tied with Columbus, but they have played in one less game. Detroit trials Columbus in the ROW tiebreaker, so a regulation loss today would cause the Red Wings to lose their grip on the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Rangers aren’t much better off with their one-point cushion.

At least New York isn’t dealing with any major injuries. That’s a foreign concept to the Red Wings this season.

Right now, they’re trying to get by without some of their key players, including forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They probably would be sinking fast at this point if it wasn’t for Johan Franzen, who has stepped up with six goals and 11 points in five contests since the Olympics. His linemate Gustav Nyquist has chipped in with two goals and eight points in six contests.

Since Detroit acquired him on Wednesday, David Legwand has rounded out that line.

“Leggy’s a real smart player, plays well defensively, and offensively he can make plays. He’s just a real good player, a good centerman in this league,” Nyquist told the Detroit News.

“And Mule (Franzen) — we all know he can shoot the puck and score some big goals. He’s been on fire, so that’s huge for us.”

They will need that trio to stay strong today as the Rangers have plenty of offensive weapons to use against the otherwise depleted Red Wings. Mats Zuccarello is back from a hand injury and Martin St. Louis recently made his Rangers debut, joining forwards Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, and Rick Nash.

That’s quite a bit for goaltender Jimmy Howard to deal with as he tries to bounce back after allowing seven goals in his last two starts.

He shouldn’t have any trouble getting motivated though. Detroit hasn’t missed the playoffs since 1990 and have naturally become accustomed to a certain level of success. So have the Rangers for that matter after advancing to the postseason in seven of their previous eight campaigns.

They both realize that in a race this tight, either team could easily end up missing the playoffs by a single point. A game like this could end up making or breaking them.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Wild’s Backstrom suffered serious nerve damage in elbow

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Niklas Backstrom AP

    “It happened pretty fast. All of a sudden two fingers are not working.”

  2. Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    25-year-old defenseman struggled mightily last season.

  3. Coyotes sign No. 3 overall pick Strome to entry-level deal

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    Dylan Strome Dylan Strome

    Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie was the OHL’s leading scorer last season.

  4. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  5. Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Russian forward is coming off a solid rookie campaign.

  6. Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT

    JohnMcLean

    That’s him in the blue shirt, standing next to ex-NHL goalie Dan Cloutier… who is 6’1.

  7. Veteran d-man Gervais signs in German League

    Jul 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    Spent last year with Colorado’s AHL affiliate.

  8. Sabres fill out Bylsma’s staff, hire Lambert away from WHL team

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

    2015 Memorial Cup - Championship Getty Images

    His Kelowna Rockets went to the 2015 Memorial Cup.

  9. In pitching free agents, honesty is best policy for Coyotes

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Don Maloney AP

    “You basically say, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s a great place to play and we have great fans and a great stadium.'”

  10. Blues add depth on D, sign Benoit

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Played 59 games for the Sabres last season.

  11. Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:23 AM EDT

    Nazem Kadri Getty Images

    “He gets to come in and have a heck of a year and put the screws to us.”

  12. No expansion bid expected from Kansas City

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    They have the arena, but not the potential owner.

  13. Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

    Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg AP

    Finished with a career-high 18 goals last season in Vancouver.

  14. Report: Caps, Kuznetsov working on a 2-3 year extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    The 23-year-old could be in line for a significant raise.

  15. Jackets’ prospect Oscar Dansk loaned to Swedish club

    Jul 5, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    He struggled in his first year pro split between the AHL and ECHL.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2925)
  2. B. Saad (2860)
  3. R. O'Reilly (2563)
  4. B. Richards (2497)
  5. Z. Kassian (2492)
  1. M. St. Louis (2375)
  2. P. Kessel (2361)
  3. M. Green (2331)
  4. M. Richards (1949)
  5. C. McDavid (1906)