After suffering another overtime defeat, the Rangers continue their four-game road trip in Vancouver (10:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
The Rangers found themselves down 2-0 after the first period for the second game in a row. Like the previous game, the Blueshirts managed to tie the game at the beginning of the third period. But in overtime, the combination of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would prove to be too much. Draisaitl scored his 42nd of the season for the game winning goal. Brendan Lemieux shined in this game; registering a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist and fight win).
“He plays with passion and he’s helped us from Day 1,” said head coach David Quinn. Since being acquired from Winnipeg, Lemieux has registered five points in seven games.
Brett Howden felt a weight lifted off his shoulder’s Monday night. The 20-year-old snapped his goal drought of 35 games.
“It’s a big relief for sure” Howden said, after practice on Tuesday. Howden’s last goal came against the Vancouver Canucks on November 12. With a 15-game absence due to injury, the Blueshirts played 50 games without a goal from Howden.
Tonight, the Blueshirts will verse the Vancouver Canucks. 20-year-old Elias Pettersson leads the Canucks with 58 points. But after a hot start to the season, Pettersson has slowed down with no goals in his past ten games. Lias Andersson will hope to draw back into the lineup to play against his longtime friend.
Vancouver is coming off a 6-2 defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights. Markstrom, tonight’s starting goalie for the Canucks, was pulled after allowing five goals on 16 shots against Vegas. Markstrom made 25 saves at Madison Square Garden in November. The Rangers won the game 2-1.
The big news in British Columbia is the Canucks signing Quinn Hughes. Hughes went 7th in the last NHL entry draft. Hughes is still dealing with an ankle injury suffered during the Big 10 tournament. Hughes won’t feature in tonight’s game for the Canucks. Hughes will likely only play in nine of the remaining 13 games as the Canucks won’t want to burn a year off his entry level contract.
Henrik Lundqvist will likely return to the net for the Blueshirts. Lundqvist is coming off a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. He was victorious in the first meeting against the Canucks this season. In addition, Lundqvist recorded 50 saves in last season’s game in Vancouver.
Freddie Claesson and Connor Brickley are likely the healthy scratches for tonight’s game.