for this game

Rangers hope to get on track against Wild

Mar 3, 2011 - 4:47 PM (Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try help their playoff chances by avoiding a third consecutive setback when they host the Minnesota Wild tonight at Madison Square Garden.

New York enters tonight as the seventh seed in the East, but the Rangers are just one point ahead of Carolina for the conference's eighth and final postseason berth.

The Rangers are 0-2 on a three-game homestand that is set to end tonight. New York has lost three straight at the Garden and is just 14-15-3 as the host this season.

New York's most recent setback came Tuesday against the Sabres. Ryan Miller turned in a strong effort between the pipes, stopping 29 shots in Buffalo's 3-2 regulation win.

Artem Anisimov and Erik Christensen tallied for the Rangers, who have also lost four of their last six contests. Henrik Lundqvist allowed three goals on 26 shots in the loss.

With regular backup Martin Biron sidelined with a broken collarbone, Lundqvist is expected to get the start tonight. Lundqvist is 2-2-0 with a 2.87 goals- against average in four career starts against Minnesota.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is questionable tonight after missing the last three games with a knee injury. New York forward Ruslan Fedotenko is also questionable with a shoulder problem.

Former Wild superstar Marian Gaborik will also miss the chance to face his old club for just the second time in his career. Gaborik has missed the last four games with a concussion and is out indefinitely.

The Wild are currently 11th in the West, but still just two points out of a playoff spot. However, Minnesota hasn't helped its postseason chances much of late, as the Wild enter tonight on a two-game skid.

Minnesota lost the first portion of its two-game trip to New York, getting pounded, 4-1, by the Islanders on Wednesday. Blake Comeau scored two goals to lead the Isles to the rout at Nassau Coliseum.

John Madden scored the lone goal for the Wild, who also lost for the sixth time in nine games.

Niklas Backstrom surrendered three goals on 19 shots before getting pulled in the second period in favor of Jose Theodore, who finished the game with 21 saves for Minnesota.

"Obviously we weren't sharp," said Wild forward Andrew Brunette. "Our energy seemed a little low today and you can't win in this league when you're like that."

It's unclear if Backstrom or Theodore will get the start in net tonight for the Wild.

Minnesota defenseman Cam Barker will miss a fifth straight game tonight with an upper-body injury and forward Chuck Kobasew is questionable this evening due to an illness.

The Rangers notched a 5-2 win in Minnesota on Nov. 20 and New York has taken three of five and eight of 12 overall in the series. The Wild have lost two in a row and four of five all-time at MSG.

    NEW YORK: 1

    Mar 3 9:25 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8), at 8:15.

    Wild 3, Rangers 1  3rd - 11:45Mar 3 9:03 PM
  • 20
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 2, Rangers 1  3rd - 13:46Mar 3 8:58 PM

    NEW YORK: 1
    End of 2nd

    Mar 3 8:31 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Casey Wellman, at 12:36.

    Wild 2, Rangers 1  2nd - 7:24Mar 3 8:19 PM

  • Minnesota Power-Play Goal - Kyle Brodziak (14), at 4:36.

    Wild 1, Rangers 1  2nd - 15:24Mar 3 8:03 PM

    NEW YORK: 1
    End of 1st

    Mar 3 7:39 PM

  • NY Rangers Goal - Sean Avery (3), at 3:13.

    Wild 0, Rangers 1  1st - 16:47Mar 3 7:12 PM

    NEW YORK: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Mar 3 7:08 PM
  • 10
    LMPtG1 Added 10 roots

    Wild vs. RangersFeb 13 10:33 AM