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. ‘We never quit fighting,’ says Pardy with Jets down 2-0 to Ducks

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:51 AM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v Anaheim Ducks - Game Two Getty Images

    It will be interesting to see what happens as this series heads to Winnipeg.

  2. Video: Kesler catches Myers with illegal hit to the head

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:56 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Anaheim’s veteran forward received a minor penalty on the play.

  3. Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    BU's Jack Eichel A Standout At World Junior Training Camp Getty Images

    “I think I bring a really good winning attitude and I have a lot to offer offensively.”

  4. Video: Sidney Crosby strikes twice to bust personal playoff scoring slump

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Had one goal in 19 playoff games prior to Saturday.

  5. Video: Rangers’ Stepan opens scoring with perfect shot top corner

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    These teams combined for eight shots in the opening period.

  6. So…what do the Oilers do now?

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

    Craig MacTavish. AP

    Craig MacTavish has some decisions to make, now that he’s won the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT

    AP

    Can the Penguins and Jets even things up?

  8. Babcock to go with Mrazek for Game 3

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:01 PM EDT

    AP

    Not wasting any time.

  9. Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    AP

    This series is all tied up at 1-1.

  10. Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

    Deryk Engelland’s game misconduct for instigating was rescinded.

  11. Here are the East finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Pullar Stadium and War Memorial Arena.

  12. Here are the West finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Decatur and St. Michael-Albertville.

Featured video

Sens need to control emotions after Subban slash
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Pacioretty (3974)
  2. K. Letang (3072)
  3. R. Nash (2935)
  4. P. Kane (2902)
  5. M. Stone (2564)