New York Rangers (27-24-5 SU, 26-30 PL, 32-23-1 O/U) vs. Minnesota Wild (30-19-6 SU, 27-28 PL, 29-24-2 O/U)
NHL: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. EST
The New York Rangers will be trying to extend their winning streak to three games when they visit the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night. New York had been 1-7 in its last eight contests before reeling off consecutive victories over Calgary and Winnipeg. The Wild have alternated wins and losses dating back to Feb. 2 and they most recently defeated Chicago this past Saturday.
The Rangers have emerged from a dreadful stretch and find themselves just two points out of the final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference even though they sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. New York is suddenly going for its third consecutive victory. Following a tough stretch in which they lost seven of eight, the Rangers won two in a row following their announcement that they plan to rebuild the team by acquiring young talent and draft picks.
“I think guys are maybe even more dialed in,” defenseman Brady Skjei said following this past Sunday’s 3-1 win at Winnipeg in the opener of a four-game road trip. “Guys are really focused right now and really stepping up their games. It’s been really fun to watch and play in.”
Skjei is one of three Minnesota-born players, along with rookies Vinni Lettieri and Neal Pionk, who are embracing the chance to play before family and friends on Tuesday. Pionk (Minnesota-Duluth), who made his NHL debut Friday night against Calgary, and Lettieri (Minnesota) played against one another at Xcel Energy Center when they were in college.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Pionk said. “I’ve played there a few times in the state tournament. It’ll be really cool to play there.”
Dubnyk back on track
Minnesota is clinging to the eighth playoff berth in the Western Conference but is just one point in front of Los Angeles and Anaheim and two ahead of Colorado. The Wild are coming off a 3-0 shutout of Chicago last Saturday in the second of a five-game home-stand to extend their home point streak to 12 games (9-0-3)–the longest in franchise history. Goalie Devan Dubnyk and his team could not hold onto a 3-0 lead against NHL-worst Arizona on Thursday, but the veteran rebounded by turning aside a season-high 44 shots to record his fourth shutout of the season against Chicago. Dubnyk was named the league’s Third Star of the Week after posting a 2-0-1 mark with a 1.96 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
“This was like he played the first half of last year,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said of his No. 1 goalie. “That’s what it reminded me of anyway.”
The New York Rangers are:
- 10-4 Over in their last 14 overall
- 5-2 Over in their last seven games against the Western Conference
- 8-3 Over in their last 11 games playing on one day of rest
The Minnesota Wild are:
- 4-1 Over in their last five overall
- 4-0 Over in their last four games following a win
- 7-3 Over in their last 10 home games against teams with road winning percentages under .400
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist owns a dreadful 3.20 goals-against average in his career against Minnesota. Wild forward Charlie Coyle has scored half of his eight goals this season in the past six games. Minnesota is a bit thin on defense at the moment and Nick Seeler is expected to make his NHL debut on Tuesday after he was recently recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League. The over is 10-4 in the Rangers’ last 14 overall, 5-2 in their last seven against the Western Conference, and 8-3 in their last 11 playing on one day of rest. It is also 4-1 in the Wild’s last five overall, 4-0 in their last four following a win, and 7-3 in their last 10 against opponents with winning percentages under .400. Additionally, the over is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to go over the total.