Sunday, March 2, 2014
W2W4: Rangers vs. Bruins
By Katie Strang
At a glance: The New York Rangers will get right back to work Sunday night against the Boston Bruins after dropping one to the Philadelphia Flyers in Philly on Saturday afternoon. The Rangers host the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins in a rematch of last spring’s Eastern Conference semis in the team’s final game before the NHL’s trade deadline on Wednesday.
Stay or go?: The biggest question facing the Rangers right now is whether Sunday will be captain Ryan Callahan’s last game with the Blueshirts. The 28-year-old winger, a pending unrestricted free agent, has yet to come to an agreement with the team on a contract extension, further fueling rampant speculation that he may be traded. And while GM Glen Sather locked up veteran defenseman Dan Girardi on Friday, a new deal for Callahan doesn’t look nearly as promising. The two sides still have a significant bridge to gap before Wednesday and whether Callahan remains a Ranger or not likely hinges on his willingness to take less than he will likely be offered in free agency July 1.
Close race: Saturday’s loss allowed to the Flyers was a disappointing one, particularly because it allowed some opponents to make up ground. With a win against the Capitals Sunday afternoon, the Flyers leap-frogged the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division standings and the Washington Capitals pulled within one point by taking the game to overtime. Columbus isn’t too far behind, either. The dark horse Blue Jackets are four points back but will have two games in hand after Sunday night. "Everybody [is] winning," coach Alain Vigneault said in his pre-game press briefing. "We've got to win."
Got your number: Though the Bruins have struggled out of the break, they have the chance to turn things around in New York, as well as complete a series sweep against the Rangers. Boston has dropped two consecutive games since returning from the Olympic break and is looking to avoid a three-game skid, which would be a season worst.
Lineup change: After returning to the lineup for the first time in two months Saturday, Derek Dorsett is back to the press box as a healthy scratch. Vigneault said he wants to afford Dorsett more practice to get back his timing considering the rugged winger missed almost two months with a broken leg. Dominic Moore will be back in Dorsett's place.