After defeating Ottawa on the road Wednesday night, the Blueshirts will look to beat them twice in a row as they faceoff in Madison Square Garden (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
|17th||NHL Standing Rank||28th|
The Blueshirts won the first game in Ottawa by the score of 3-1. Jaroslav Halak recorded his first win as a member of the New York Rangers in a solid effort. Halak turned aside 34 shots on goal.
Ryan Lindgren led the way on offense as he recorded three assists on the night. The Rangers depth led the way on offense as Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow were responsible for the Blueshirts first two goals of the night. Chris Kreider continued to heat up as he recorded his fourth goal in the last fifth game to give the Rangers that insurance marker.
Rangers vs Senators
The Rangers will begin a back-to-back starting Friday night against Ottawa. They’ll stay in New York and host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. Expect Halak and Igor Shesterkin to split the two games. Shesterkin was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate which usually indicates that he will get the start.
Surprisingly, it appears the Blueshirts will make a few changes to the lineup that was victorious in Ottawa. New York snapped a three-game losing skid and it was thought that head coach Gerard Gallant would stick with what just worked. The biggest change is that Vitaly Kravtsov appears slated to join Filip Chytil and Artemi Panarin on the second line. Kaapo Kakko was on that line on Wednesday and they were held without a point. Libor Hajek also appears likely to replace Zac Jones in the lineup.
In the previous game, Ottawa’s goal came from Shane Pinto who recorded his ninth goal of the year. Pinto’s ninth goal is now tied for the team lead with Brady Tkachuk and Claude Giroux.
The Senators had some interesting news occur on Thursday as the team was unable to come to terms with restricted free agent Alex Formenton. Last season, Formenton recorded 32 points in 79 games and was two goals shy of 20. This was the same situation the Leafs had with William Nylander just a few years ago. With Formenton and the Senators not coming to an agreement, the 23-year-old winger will not be eligible to play in the NHL this season at any point. This isn’t ideal for the player’s development but it is likely Formenton will finish this season in Europe.
What the Rangers Need
The Blueshirts desperately need a power-play goal. They got the all-important win and need to start to string a few together. However, the Rangers power-play has gone ice cold as of late. For a team that often relies on their power-play for offense, the top power-play unit just hasn’t been clicking of late. In the previous six games, the Rangers power-play has just one goal on 17 attempts. Teams know the Rangers top option is Mika Zibanejad’s one timer. Creating a second option such as Adam Fox shooting from the point and looking for rebounds or redirections for Kreider should be something that is looked at. Kreider had a career year last year scoring 52 goals and he led the league with 26 power-play goals. The fact that the Blueshirts haven’t been looking for Kreider has been puzzling. The other option is Panarin using his lethal shot more often on the other side. By doing this, the Rangers will open up Zibanejad’s one timer.
YouTheFan Purebred Fans New York Rangers YouTheFan NHL UPC Purebred Fans A Real Nailbiter 500 Piece Puzzle, Team Colors, Piece US$19.99
’47 NHL Unisex-Adult Primary Logo Cuffed Knit Beanie Hat Cold Weather Hat, One Size (US, Alpha, One Size, New York Rangers)$27.99
Wright & Ditson NHL Adult Game Day Unisex T-Shirt – 100% Cotton – Tagless Hockey Tee – Short Sleeve – Comfortable and Lightweight (New York Rangers – Blue, Adult XX-Large)$29.95
NHL Large Ball Ornament, Clear Glass with Glitter Inside (New York Rangers)$12.95
Game Time New York Rangers Men’s Gift Set – NHL Watch and Wallet Combo, Officially Licensed$48.26
New York Rangers Logo Car Truck Flag with Window Clip On Pole Holder$15.49
Bulletin New York Rangers NHL Express Twill Logo Hoodie – Royal – 3X-Large$76.90
New York Rangers Phoebe Blue Clean Up Relaxed Hat Cap Adult Women’s Adjustable$22.99
NHL New York Rangers Wooden Cheer Ornament$18.99
FOCO New York Rangers NHL Team Spirit Nutcracker$34.99
NHL New York Rangers Unisex Rangers Team Tags, Team Color, 12 inch$14.99
BSN Sweatshirt$19.99 – $22.99