New York Rangers (35-27-4) at Minnesota Wild (34-22-9)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 13, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -110 / New York Rangers +100 --- Over/Under: 5
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The New York Rangers will look to rebound from a terrible effort on Tuesday night when they head to Minnesota to take on the Wild. One would think that being in the middle of a playoff race would be motivation enough for a hockey club to give a hundred percent effort, but that wasn't the case for the Rangers on Tuesday night in Carolina. Taking on a Hurricanes club that they had just beaten in Raleigh on Friday night the Rangers were absolutely awful for 60 minutes, turning in one of the worst games they've played in months in the process. New York looked a step slow all night long, completely disinterested, and they kept using the same square peg-round hole appraoch all game long. The Rangers tried over and over to complete stretch passes that were routinely broken up by the Hurricanes who were waiting for them. Never once did New York feel the need to adjust and when you factor in the club's inability to transition the puck out of their own end smoothly it made for a game that was filled with turnovers. Mats Zuccarello continues to be the best player on the ice for New York and he made a wonderful play and pass with the puck that resulted in the only Ranger goal of the night from Kevin Klein. That evened the game at 1-1 but it was the only offense that New York would generate in the 3-1 loss. Martin St. Louis has been a non-factor in his first four games with his new team and it might be because he's playing with Brad Richards. While the two might be good friends it doesn't make sense for St. Louis or anyone with significant talent to be playing with Richards at this stage. The veteran center iceman is extremely slow and a step behind at all times when on the ice. Alain Vigneault made an adjustment at the end of Tuesday night's contest but he's kept his lines pretty much the same so we'll have to wait and see if the two are separated for good. The Minnesota Wild are sitting in good position for a wild card berth in the Western Conference but with how quickly things can change it would behoove them to keep picking up points. Minnesota managed to pick up a point in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers but it came after blowing a 3-0 lead and resulted in their third consecutive loss. With games against the Rangers, Blue Jackets, and Bruins coming up it's not going to get any easier for the Wild. This is going to be a good match up between two clubs that need to get things back on track. Expect both teams to come out hard but also to play this one a little more cautiously because they both realize how important these points are.