The Rangers finish off a three-game road trip against the Vegas Golden Knights for the second ever meeting in Las Vegas. (10:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
Just when the Blueshirts thought 2019 couldn’t get any worse, the Rangers lost their third straight game by five goals. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for the second game in a row after allowing five goals on 32 shots. Head coach David Quinn made it clear that they need to worry about the next game.
“The next day, and the next practice, and the next game. That’s what we have to do,” Quinn said. “I fully anticipate us to respond…I really do.”
“We’ve got to come together to find a way to start playing better hockey,” said Marc Staal.
“It’s just playing smarter, playing for each other and playing detailed hockey regardless of the score,” said Chris Kreider.
“That’s the way the season goes – there are going to be times that pucks are going in, when you’re capitalizing on your scoring chances, and there are going to be times when they’re not going in. But you can’t change your game, you can’t get away from the way you know you have to play to be successful.”
Quinn has made some changes to his defense that have nowallowed 18 goals in the past three games. Freddy Claesson and Brendan Smithwill be healthy scratches and Tony DeAngelo will draw back in the lineup. Inaddition, Alex Georgiev will make his second start in the past three games. Despiteallowing six goals in Colorado, Georgiev had a great outing with 41 saves.
The Vegas Golden Knights enter the game with full confidence. They have won their past six games and are now second in the Pacific Division. Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Knights. Fleury has 24 wins and six shutouts on the season.
Alex Tuch leads the team with 33 points on the season, but former Ranger Brandon Pirri has had a great start to his Vegas Career. He has nine points in seven games including six goals. Pirri was sent down to the AHL briefly, before being recalled for tonight’s game with William Carrier suffering an injury.
The Rangers will look to turn their fortunes around against a hot team. “We’re all frustrated with what’s transpired over the last three games,” Quinn said. “With that being said, it was less than a week ago we came back from winning two games on the road….” The Rangers hope they can play in Vegas like they in Nashville just before the new year.
Kevin Hayes is still listed as day-to-day and won’t play in tonight’s game. Hayes hasn’t played since the 2-1 victory in St. Louis.
Jimmy Vesey will play in his 200th NHL game tonight, allwith the Rangers. The Blueshirts will look to get their first win in Vegas infranchise history. The Golden Knights won the only meeting in Vegas 2-1.
DeAngelo – Shattenkirk