Hoping to extend a brief surge, the Rangers on Friday night also will try to snap a lengthy skid against the Montreal Canadiens – the team immediately ahead of New York in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Rangers have been outscored 16-4 while losing five straight to the Canadiens, with three goals coming in three games this season. That lack of success is one reason why seventh-place New York (37-30-4) trails Montreal (39-25-7) by seven points with 11 games left.
New York (78 points) also is trying to hold off several teams looking to sneak into the postseason. Buffalo (76) holds the eighth and final playoff spot followed by Carolina (74), Atlanta and Toronto (72), and resurgent New Jersey (70).