The Blueshirts begin a four-game road trip as they take on Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers (9:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
The Rangers are coming off a gutsy come from behind win against the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers found themselves down 2-0 after the first period, but they would respond with four unanswered goals to win the game 4-2.
“I give our guys a lot of credit because we kept playing,” said head coach David Quinn. “We shook it off. I’m proud of the way we battled and were patient. We stuck to what we needed to do.”
Ryan Strome registered two goals; Libor Hajek recorded his first career goal and Vlad Namestnikov registered the game-winning goal. Henrik Lundqvist faced just 24 shots including just two shots in the second period.
“It was great to see we didn’t get frustrated,” said Lundqvist. “We kept going, and it paid off in the end. It’s important for us to get rewarded here.”
However, according to Quinn, rookie defenseman Libor Hajek suffered a separated shoulder and is likely out for the remainder of the season.
“He’s been playing well, gets your first goal, and two shifts later you’re out for the rest of the game and potentially the rest of the season,” Quinn said. “Tough blow for a kid that’s really made a great impression.”
Tonight, the Rangers will see Marc Staal return to the lineup in Edmonton. Staal was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Lias Andersson and Tony DeAngelo will also be healthy scratches for tonight’s game. Freddy Claesson will return to the lineup.
“We got seven good defensemen, like we been saying all year,” DeAngelo said. “So, the guys gotta play. Freddie hasn’t played in a bit, so, Freddie will play. That’s it. No explanation needed. He’s the coach; we’re the players.”
The Edmonton Oilers won the first matchup this season. The Blueshirts will have to keep a close eye on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid is four points shy of 100 and Draisaitl has over 40 goals (86 points). Draisaitl is currently riding a 13-game point streak and is second in the league in goals.
Mikko Koskinen will start for the Oilers. Koskinen is currently riding a four-game win streak. The Rangers will turn to Alex Georgiev. Georgiev is winless in his last three starts (0-1-2).
Ryan Strome played over 100 games for the Oilers and he will look to keep his strong play going. Strome has six goals in his past eleven games and he will look to score against his former team for the first time.