The Rangers will be looking for their third straight win and sixth straight on the road as they continue their road trip in Vancouver for a matchup with the struggling Canucks (10:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
|4th||NHL Standing Rank||25th|
It wasn’t pretty like quite a few games to start the season, but the Rangers found a way to win another hockey game. Despite being badly outshot by the Kraken, New York didn’t crack and ultimately goaltender Igor Shesterkin stole another game for the Blueshirts. Shesterkin made 31 saves on 32 shots and improved his save percentage to .947.
“He was unbelievable,” said Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow. “He is the sole factor of how we won that game.” Goodrow was key in the final few minutes in helping kill off the game including an empty-net goal after helping get the puck out of the zone.
Chris Kreider continued his hot start adding his seventh goal of the season. Adam Fox who was awarded a seven-year contract worth 9.5 million dollars per year on Monday, scored the game-winning goal after a beautiful breakout pass across the ice and ultimately being found by Panarin just seconds later to snipe home the winner.
“I feel like I’ve been a part of the Rangers my whole life, you know from being a kid and to have this opportunity now and be with this organization for seven more years, it’s so special and there’s no place I’d rather be,” Fox said after signing his new contract.
Tuesday night, the Rangers will look to extend their winning streak to three games. It’s important to point out the response the Blueshirts had after suffering defeat against the Calgary Flames. They stopped the bleeding immediately and bounced back with two wins. Suffering another defeat or two would have dented the four-game win streak and made it not count for as much as it did.
The Blueshirts will get a favorable matchup that points to a low-scoring game. Vancouver has so far started off similarly to the Rangers by playing good defense and good goaltending but has struggled to score. The powerplay has struggled to start the season and will come up against a penalty-killing unit that is only operating at a 72% success rate.
Ryan Reaves remains out of the lineup with a leg injury. Reaves continues to remain around the team and does whatever he can do to help including providing a presence at practice and in the locker room prior to the game.
Nils Lundkvist was a healthy scratch for the second time this season in favor of Jarred Tinordi. Tinordi partnered with Patrik Nemeth and did a fine job on the third pair in Seattle. Lundkvist is being eased into North America for the first time and has been doing a great job. No need for fans to ring the alarm bells this early into the season on Lundkvist. Remember, Fox wasn’t a Norris caliber defender in his rookie season. This is Lundkvist’s first time playing on the smaller rinks so an adjustment period is warranted.
The Canucks enter the game with a 3-5-1 record including three straight defeats where they have scored a total of four goals. Vancouver missed the playoffs last season in what many considered a weak North Division. In the offseason the Canucks made an offseason splash by trading for Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Arizona who is playing a top-four role.
Vancouver is led in scoring by former Rangers J.T. Miller who is currently operating at a point-per-game pace with nine points in nine games. Right behind Miller is offseason acquisition Conor Garland who has eight points to open the season. The Canucks big stars in Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser have been quiet to start the season with a combined total of seven points in nine games. These two guys need to step it up if Vancouver wants to make the playoffs. Looking at their roster, they have a more than enough talented squad to get into the playoffs – they just need to start producing as they can.
Like the Rangers, Vancouver’s goaltending has been their strength with both Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak putting up excellent numbers. Both goaltenders have a goals-against average below 2.60 and a save percentage above .915. Although backup goaltender Halak has had the Rangers number in the past, particularly when he was on the Islanders, expect to see Demko who is the starter. Demko has been terrific to start the season and he has a .924 save percentage to prove it.
What to Watch
My what to watch for moment this game will be the depth goal scoring and if they can get a contribution. The depth goal scoring not only has not scored in the past two games but hasn’t created all that many chances. The Blueshirts seem to have a game where they get primary goal-scoring with no secondary goal-scoring and then a role reversal. Let’s see if the Blueshirts can put together a game with goalscoring from up-and-down the lineup against a good goaltender. #NYR