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Preview: Rangers visit Bruins, 3/2

Now that the dust has settled on the NHL Trade Deadline, let's get back to HOCKEY.

The Bruins will look to ramp up their home-rink prowess tonight vs. the Rangers.
The Bruins will look to ramp up their home-rink prowess tonight vs. the Rangers.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts:

Who: the New York Rangers (40-21-2, 82 points, 4th in Metropolitan, 4th in East, 1st of 2 Wild Card slots)
visit the Boston Bruins (33-24-6, 72 points, 3rd in Atlantic, 7th in East)

What: The first game of the Drew Stafford quarter-season.
(Maybe he'll earn a spot to stick around, but waaaay too early to tell. He hasn't even landed in Boston yet.)

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

When: 7:00 PM

How to follow: NBC Sports, TVAS, NESN, MSG, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN Site: BlueShirt Banter

Rangers Leaders:

Points: J.T Miller, 48

Goals: Michael Grabner, 26

Assists: Mats Zuccarello, 32; Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh each have 31

Shots: Zuccarello, 161

Bruins Leaders:

Brad Marchand, 28G - 38A - 66 Points

Shots: Patrice Bergeron, 224

Game Notes

  • The Blueshirts are coming off a 4-1 loss to Washington; the New England Bears just beat the Coyotes by the same count. Top-to-middle-to-middle-to-bottom of standings justice, which will hopefully be a decent indication of how tonight's game will go.
  • NY's top goal-scorer Grabner took a strong hip check from teammate Adam Clendening and left the Rangers' practice early yesterday; could be a game-time decision. More uncertainty lies with Mika Zibanejad, who sat himself out of the Capitals matchup after taking a puck to the hand. Former BU standout Chris Kreider also took a maintenance day, though he and Zibanejad are likely to play. The same can't be said for Kevin Klein, who has been experiencing back spasms for at least the last week and is still questionable, and Jesper Fast, who is expected to be out of the lineup for at least two weeks.
  • The Rangers made a minor-league swap today. Their November acquisition, former Bruin Steve Kampfer, has filled in admirably in recent games. They also acquired former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, and will continue to integrate him into their day-to-day lineup.
  • Boston's deadline acquisition, Drew Stafford (formerly of the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets), is supposed to bolster the B's bottom six; however, since he won't be landing in Boston until the middle of the day, it's anyone's guess as to if he draws into this contest. Look for the lines post later today and the gametime lineup on our Twitter feed.
  • Dueling Goalies: Tuukka Rask has a 2.27 goals-allowed average and .913 save percentage on 1,243 shot attempts; Henrik Lundqvist has a 2.67 GAA and .911 SV% on 1,353 shot attempts. Quite comparable, no?
Never Forget:

The Genesis of Torey Krug.