Overview
The Rangers faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 36-33-10 (82 pts.). The Rangers enter tonight’s contest having been defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2, on Tuesday night in Buffalo, to finish their season-high six-game road trip with a 4-1-1 mark. The Maple Leafs enter the contest with a 29-37-14 (72 pts.) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will faceoff against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a home-and-home set to close out the Rangers’ regular season schedule.

Game Notes
The Rangers aren’t in the most ideal situation as the season comes down to the final stretch, but they are not out of it just yet. A bad loss to the Sabres dipped the Rangers’ playoff chances to 23.4%. If they come up short Wednesday against the Leafs, their season is likely done. With Tuesday’s loss at Buffalo, the Blueshirts remained three points behind the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Rangers close out the season with a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers, who moved four points ahead of the Rangers on Tuesday with a 2-0 win against Toronto. That final series against the Flyers is looming larger each day.

However, if they can win out – a pretty tall-order to say the least – they might even have a shot at the seventh seed. With seemingly all of the focus on Philadelphia, when the season concludes it could be the Bruins that the Rangers will overtake. There’s still plenty of hockey to be played …

Injury Report
Rangers forwards Sean Avery (knee) and Brian Boyle (foot) are questionable for Wednesday’s matchup. Both were unavailable against the Sabres, while forward Ryan Callahan (leg) returned to the lineup.

Quote of the Day
“This is our season. Until all eight teams are locked, we’re going to continue to fight.” – center Brandon Dubinsky

Prediction
Before Tuesday’s game in Buffalo, Henrik Lundqvist had only allowed 10 goals in his previous six games, which included a pair of shutouts. Buffalo pounded the Rangers, 5-2, the first time in seven games that the Rangers lost in regulation. Henrik has played out of this world in the last month, and he has the drive and determination to play postseason hockey more than any other goaltender in the league. As I’ve said before, he’s the main reason the Rangers are even in the hunt. He’ll be back into form after getting pulled on Tuesday – a much needed break – and the Rangers will come out swingin’ like Tyson.

Blueshirts with a big win, 4-1.

Shot Calling – Vaclav Prospal, 0 points in his last 2 games and just 4 in his last 11 games, ends his slump against the Leafs. Over the last three years against Toronto, Prospal has 9 assists in 10 games – but no goals. He’ll get one tonight. Put it in the books.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun