It's never good karma to revel in others' misery but...
...but if you're the Rangers and you potentially need to win all three of your remaining games, starting tonight against the Canadiens at the Garden, you'll take any edge you can get.
So it was a good night for the Rangers last night as Detroit topped Buffalo, 4-1, leaving the Sabres four points behind both the Rangers and Panthers with three to play for each. Plus, Ottawa went into Montreal and beat Les Habs, 3-2, in regulation. More significantly for the Rangers, the Canadiens have lost defensemen Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider to injuries. Markov is expected to be out three weeks with what appears to be a knee injury and Schneider is expected to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.This much is certain, the Canadiens' top power-play defense pairing will not play tonight in New York.
Of course, that doesn't guarantee anything at the Garden. But Montreal will be a tired team, having played last night, with new parts on their blue line. Given how well the Rangers have played at home as of late, they should be able to press the attack and create turnovers off their forecheck.
Check back for an update off the optional morning skate, where it's likely to be confirmed that right wing Nik Antropov will be able to play tonight despite a left knee-to-knee collision with Boston's Milan Lujic in Saturday's 1-0 loss.