Saginaw rolls into town on a two-game winning streak while Kitchener is coming off a 5-3 loss to Guelph.
Both teams are fighting for playoff positions.
It's a busy weekend for the Rangers. How's this for scheduling? Sudbury plays tonight at home and then has to be at the Aud for a 2 p.m. start Saturday. Brutal.
The Rangers are in Brampton Sunday for a matinee as well.
No Ryan Murphy for the Rangers, who dazzled in his NHL debut last night for the Carolina Hurricanes. Tobias Rieder rejoins the lineup after a three-game absence.
Matt Puempel-Tobias Rieder-Josh Leivo
Ben Thomson-Matia Marcantuoni-Derek Schoenmakers
Brent Pedersen-Josh Sterk-Justin Bailey
Domenic Alberga-Curtis Meighan-Eric Ming
Ben Fanelli-Frank Corrado
Evan McEneny-Max Iafrate
Jared Gilbert-Owen Stewart
Joel Vienneau (24-14-2-7) starts.
Eric Locke-Garret Ross-Jimmy Lodge
Terry Trafford-Justin Kea-Nick Moutrey
Jeremiah Addison-Dylan Sadowy-Gregg Sutch
David Perklin-Brandon Lindberg-Andrey Alexeev
Steven Strong-Dalton Young
Jason Shaw-Nathan Glass
Jacob Ringuette-Brandon Prophet
Jake Paterson (21-15-2-2) starts.
- It sure was evident tonight how important Ryan Murphy is to the Rangers. The club lacked flow, speed, a puck moving attack and a PP quarterback against Saginaw. Not sure who is going to fill this role next year.
- A tough night for Kitchener goalie Joel Vienneau, who let in one from behind the centre line and a soft shot from the blue line, before getting yanked for Jack Moylan.
- One media Tweeter was gushing over Matt Puempel's fight, calling him a leader. Puempel has long been a leader before tonight. But my question is, why is he the guy who has to spark the club with a scrap?
- Never seen the Rangers flub so many passes across the blue line on the power play.
- Eric Ming's marker was his first in 11 games.
- A weird observation: few sing O Canada at the Aud, but when the team plays an American opponent, the crowd bursts out on the national anthem. Showing some pride.
- Perhaps the ugliest game of the year for the Rangers. As coach/GM Steve Spott said, you just have to turn the page. But of concern is the fact that Kitchener has allowed 11 goals in the past two games.
- Kitchener has one win in their past four games. With 10 games to go until the playoffs, it may be premature to be bringing up the end of the season curse. But to be that guy, it's worth noting that the Rangers had four wins in the final 11 games last year. In 2011, they lost the last seven games heading into the post-season.
- Tobias Rieder's 12 game scoring streak ended.
- Hats off to the Spirit. It wasn't their premier players getting it done tonight. Two guys scored their second goals of the year, one guy notched his third and another earned his first. Aren't teams supposed to get worse when they trade their best player (hello Vince Trocheck)?
JB's top three Rangers: Matt Puempel, Josh Leivo, Owen Stewart