Pregame Analysis

Rangers Look to Stay Hot in Tampa

               After defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, the Blueshirts will look to extend their point streak to five games (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

Rangers Ranks Lightning
8-6-2 Record 8-5-2
8th    GF/PG 7th  
22nd GA/PG 25th
8th PP% 4th
20th   PK% 25th

               The Rangers are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The story of the game was two rookies: Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox. Each player had two-point nights; including combining on the overtime goal. Kakko finished with two goals and Fox had one goal and one assist. Also, on the scoresheet with a primary assist was Artemi Panarin who extended his point streak to nine games. Alex Georgiev recorded 30 saves in the victory.

               “I knew (Kakko) came behind me there, and if they didn’t let me get to the middle, I was probably gonna drop it behind,” Fox said. “But they let me go there, and then I just saw him come on the back door.”

               “Just talking to (Kakko), the way he walks around, there’s just a whole new level of swagger to him that I hadn’t seen since he got here — not only on the ice but off the ice,” said head coach David Quinn.

               The Blueshirts will be looking for a repeat performance of October 29th when they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. The Rangers were very impressive on national TV and largely outplayed Tampa Bay for most of the game. In that game, Kakko and Fox each had a goal and Filip Chytil got a goal in his season debut. With Zibanejad still out of the lineup, the Rangers will continue to look for production from their rookies. In the past five games, Kakko has four goals and Fox has six points.  

               The Lightning are coming off two victories in the 2019 NHL Global Series against the Buffalo Sabres in Sweden. While Steven Stamkos leads the team in points, it is former Ranger Kevin Shattenkirk who is tied for second with Nikita Kucherov in points. Shattenkirk, who was bought out by the Rangers in the offseason, has 13 points including four goals. Andrei Vasilevskiy is currently 6-4 with a 3.01 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner will look to turn things around against the Rangers as he is expected to get the start.

               Alex Georgiev, who was victorious against Tampa Bay in October, will make his second consecutive start. The 23-year-old allowed one goal on thirty shots.

               Going forward, the Rangers may experiment more with Chris Kreider as a centerman; or at least taking faceoffs more regularly. Kreider was the most successful at taking faceoffs on Tuesday as he won eight out of nine draws.

               “He was our best faceoff guy yesterday and he’s good at it, so that’s why I put him out there to start the 3 on 3,” Quinn said.

Projected Lineup

Panarin-Strome-Fast

Kreider-Chytil-Buchnevich

Lemieux-Howden-Kakko

McKegg-Andersson-Smith

Hajek-Trouba

Skjei-DeAngelo

Lindgren-Fox

Georgiev

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