Game Day: N.Y. Rangers at Wild
- March 27, 2012 - 7:04 AM
Preview: The Wild is mathematically eliminated from competing in the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. The Rangers, 8-5 all-time vs. the Wild and 4-3 in Minnesota, lead the Eastern Conference with 101 points.
Players to watch: Rangers RW Marian Gaborik, the Wild's all-time leader in goals (219), assists (218) and points (437), is expected to play his second career game against the Wild. He missed two of three previous meetings because of injury since leaving as a free agent in 2009. He ranks third in the NHL with 37 goals. C Brad Richards has 14 points in the past 10 games. Wild LW Dany Heatley has 15 goals and 34 points in 29 career games vs. the Rangers.
Numbers: The Wild has been shut out seven times this season and in five of its past 13 games. Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist, a possible Hart and Vezina Trophy contender, is tied for the league lead with eight shutouts and has the lowest goals-against average (1.93) of all No. 1 goalies.
Injuries: The Wild had the day off Monday, but G Niklas Backstrom (lower body) skated and is questionable to dress, as is LW Matt Kassian (groin). C Matt Cullen (broken finger), D Jared Spurgeon (concussion), D Justin Falk (knee), D Mike Lundin (sports hernia), LW/RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) and LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) are out. Rangers D Michael Sauer (concussion), RW Mats Zuccarello (wrist) and D Steve Eminger (undisclosed) are out.
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