Rangers at Coyotes – 9:00 PM MSG
The Rangers go back out on the road after their come from behind win against Ottawa by traveling the desert. They were not playing well heading into the break and started slow against the Senators before grinding out a come from behind win. It will be interesting to see how they come out of the gate tonight.
Tonight’s review is being provided by longtime bonehead Scottsdale Ranger, who will be attending in person. True story: one of my best friends moved to Arizona last year. He is in town this week just for the holidays. So not only is he missing the Rangers in Arizona, the one time they will be there this year, they will be out on the road the entire time he’s in New York. Poor guy.
This is the first official Go Time thread since Game 30 against the Blackhawks. Clearly, this is a HAV.
Tonight’s possible lineup for the Rangers (20-9-1):
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner
JT Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast
Matt Puempel-Marek Hrivik-Brandon Pirri
Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Klein
Marc Staal-Nick Holden
Brady Skjei-Dan Girardi
The big news, of course, is the continuing flu for Henrik Lundqvist. Antti Raanta gets another start in his absence, with Henrik Lundqvist as the backup. Also of note is Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein having their spots in the lineup swapped. There was a shot chart in my tweets from earlier today that demonstrates that the Rangers are struggling on right defense. Girardi has looked especially bad lately, but I’m curious why recent standout Nick Holden didn’t get the promotion to McDonagh, instead.
Rick Nash is getting closer to returning. There are still no definitive timetables on Buchnevich or Zibanejad, who skated today without equipment.
For the Coyotes (11-19-5), the story is still about goals, or the lack thereof. Averaging only 2.11 on the season, they have scored a mere 27 in their last 15 games. So, in typical Rangers fashion, they should score 10 tonight. As an aside, former Ranger Anthony Duclair is 2-4-6 in 32 games.
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