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Preview: Rangers Conclude 2018-19 Season With Matchup Against Penguins

by Michael Obernauer

RANGERS at PENGUINS, 7 p.m.
MSG, 98.7 FM

PITTSBURGH -- And then there was one.

The Rangers will play the finale of their 2018-19 season on Saturday night, finishing both the marathon of an NHL campaign and this one's sprint to the finish: Game 82 will complete the Blueshirts' 11th back-to-back set this season and will be their fifth game in seven nights.

And it will give them some say in where a rival winds up in the standings. The Penguins were able to take a breather on Thursday when their 4-1 victory over the Red Wings assured them of their 13th consecutive playoff appearance; where they'll go and who they'll play remains up in the air. Pittsburgh can finish anywhere from second in the Metropolitan Division with home-ice advantage in the first round, to the top Wild Card spot, which would send them to Washington to begin the playoffs against the defending champions.

"For us to go in and try to get two points and kind of mess them up a little bit?" Brady Skjei said, "That'd be pretty nice."

To pull it off, the Rangers will have to turn this season's fortunes against this division rival: The Blueshirts will be looking to avoid only their second season sweep ever at the hands of the Penguins, and the first since dropping all three meetings in the lockout-shortened season of 1994-95.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Penguins 04.05.06

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Saturday, Apr. 6, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Rangers: 31-36-14 (76 pts)
Penguins: 44-26-11 (99 pts)

The Rangers play their 82nd and final game of the 2018-19 season and conclude a back-to-back set on Saturday, Apr. 6, against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Metropolitan Division matchup at PPG Paints Arena (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM).

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Preview: Rangers Battle Blue Jackets in Home Finale

by Michael Obernauer

BLUE JACKETS at RANGERS, 7 p.m.
MSG+, 1050 AM

The Rangers have one more home game in 2018-19, one more chance to play in front of the Garden fans and say thank you to the faithful, one Friday night on Broadway to give their fans the Blueshirts off their Backs.

That annual salute to RangersTown will take place after the conclusion of Friday night's game - but not before the Blueshirts take on Columbus in a game with major playoff implications for John Tortorella's Blue Jackets. And not before Alexandar Georgiev picks up where he left off, which is to say red-hot in the Ranger nets.

Georgiev enters this one having won his last two starts in which he allowed a total of two goals. Both of them came a week ago, in the first period last Friday at the Garden against St. Louis; the rookie goaltender has turned away each of the last 67 shots that have come his way. He carries a shutout streak of 104:58 into Friday night's match.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets 04.05.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Friday, Apr. 5, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Rangers: 31-36-13 (75 pts)
Blue Jackets: 45-31-4 (94 pts)

The Rangers play their 81st game of the 2018-19 season and begin a back-to-back set on Friday, Apr. 5, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG+, Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). Friday's contest is the Rangers' final home game in 2018-19. New York concludes the season with a back-to-back set.

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Preview: Rangers Host Senators on Special Night at The Garden

Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award ceremony at 7:15 p.m.

by Michael Obernauer

SENATORS at RANGERS, 7:30 p.m.
MSG+, 970 AM

Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award ceremony at 7:15 p.m.

SCORE GREAT SEATS! CLICK HERE

The Rangers have two home games remaining on their schedule, and Wednesday's will fall on one of the special nights on each season's calendar: the presentation of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, preceding the Rangers' game against the Ottawa Senators.

The award is decided by the fans' vote and given in the name of New York Police Department Det. Steven McDonald, a dedicated Ranger fan, who was shot in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and left paralyzed. Detective McDonald passed away on Jan. 10, 2017.

This is the 31st year in which the Rangers will present the award, since Jan Erixon was its first recipient in 1987-88. Henrik Lundqvist is a two-time winner, including last season.

(For more on the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, please click here)

When the game begins, the Rangers will be without Filip Chytil against the Senators, after Chytil was shaken by a shoulder-on-shoulder check in the closing minutes of Monday's game in New Jersey. David Quinn said the 19-year-old is considered day-to-day and would not rule out Chytil playing in the Rangers' games Friday against Columbus and Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Pavel Buchnevich, who was held out of Monday's game after an accidental open-ice collision in Sunday's third period, will be a gametime decision. Henrik Lundqvist will take his second straight start after making 37 saves in Newark on Monday night.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Senators 04.03.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS
Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2019, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
TV: MSG+, Radio: WNYM 970 AM

SCORE GREAT SEATS! CLICK HERE

Rangers: 31-35-13 (75 pts)
Senators: 28-45-6 (62 pts)

The Rangers play their 80th game of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday, Apr. 3, against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET - TV: MSG+, Radio: WNYM 970 AM). Including Wednesday's game, the Blueshirts conclude the 2018-19 season with three games over a four-day stretch.

STEVEN McDONALD EXTRA EFFORT AWARD

Prior to the start of Wednesday's game, the Rangers will announce this year's winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, "goes above and beyond the call of duty." The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986 and passed away on January 10, 2017.

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Preview: Rangers Cross the Hudson to Take on Devils

by Michael Obernauer

RANGERS at DEVILS, 7 p.m.
MSG 2, 970 AM

On the day he was traded to New York, Nov. 16, Ryan Strome was expressing his excitement to be coming to the Rangers as well as his hopes that the change of scenery could help him emerge from what to that point had been a frustrating year.

"I think the numbers are a little disappointing in the sense that I've played a lot better hockey than they show," Strome said in an interview that day with NYRangers.com. "I've been a little frustrated. A little bit snakebit."

Fast forward 4½ months, and Strome has wound up making this the best goal-scoring season of his career so far, which is a place that Strome on Sunday said "I never thought I'd be." That afternoon in Philadelphia, Strome scored for the third straight game and the fifth time in the last six, which gave him 18 goals on the season, a new career best. And it was a goal-scorer's goal, too: a snipe in open ice into the top corner of the net, beating Philadelphia's Carter Hart.

Strome has scored all but one of his 18 goals in 59 games since the trade, making him the league leader in goals by a player after being moved in a deal this season. The 25-year-old will get a chance for more when the Rangers visit the Devils in Newark on Monday night in a matchup of the youngest teams in the National Hockey League.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Devils 04.01.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Monday, Apr. 1, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
TV: MSG 2, Radio: WNYM 970 AM

Rangers: 31-34-13 (75 pts)
Devils: 29-40-10 (68 pts)

The Rangers play their 79th game of the 2018-19 season and conclude a back-to-back set on Monday, Apr. 1, against the New Jersey Devils in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG 2, Radio: WNYM 970 AM). Including Monday's game, the Blueshirts conclude the 2018-19 season with four games over a six-day stretch, and three of the four contests are against teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have won each of the last two games.

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Preview: Rangers Clash With Flyers on Sunday Afternoon

by Michael Obernauer

RANGERS at FLYERS, 12:30 p.m.
NBC, 98.7 FM

There was almost a slapstick element to the goal Chris Kreider scored on Friday night. With the St. Louis net empty and the seconds ticking away on what would finish as a 4-2 Ranger win, Kreider stood waiting at the left hashmarks in the Blues zone, where Pavel Buchnevich found him with a pass out of the corner. Alex Pietrangelo came sliding across to try to block a shot; Kreider dipped his head to fake it, then all he had to do was simply to stand there and wait for Pietrangelo to go sliding helplessly on by and the lane to open back up again, like Wile E. Coyote overshooting the Road Runner and … That's all, folks.

Of course, Kreider showed a veteran's patience on the play, and Pietrangelo was doing the serious work of putting his body on the line to defend his goal. What's more, the goal was No. 27 on the season for Kreider, a serious number in its own right and one that brings a few milestones for the Ranger left winger into even sharper focus.

With five games left to play, Kreider, who is in his seventh season with the Rangers, needs just one more goal to match his career best from two seasons ago, two more to set a new high mark, three more for his first 30-goal season. He'll have his next chance to build on his number in the Rangers' Sunday matinee with the Philadelphia Flyers.

When these possibilities were raised to him following the Rangers' practice on Saturday in Westchester, Kreider cut the question off emphatically.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Flyers 03.31.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA
TV: NBC, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Rangers: 30-34-13 (73 pts)
Flyers: 37-33-8 (82 pts)

The Rangers play their 78th game of the 2018-19 season and begin a back-to-back set on Sunday, Mar. 31, against the Philadelphia Flyers in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Wells Fargo Center (12:30 p.m. ET - TV: NBC, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Including Sunday's game, the Rangers conclude the 2018-19 season with five games over a seven-day stretch, and four of the five contests are against teams in the Metropolitan Division.

 

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