After concluding a three-game western Canadian road trip, the Rangers return to Madison Square Garden for a reunion with a familiar face (7:00 P.M. on MSG)
|5th||NHL Standing Rank||11th|
Following an overtime defeat in Calgary, the Rangers made a trade on Sunday afternoon which was the following:
Rangers receive – forward Tyler Motte
Senators receive – forward Julien Gauthier and a conditional 2023 seventh-round draft pick. If the Blueshirts advance past the first round of the playoffs, the pick becomes the lower of the Blueshirts two 2023 sixth-round draft picks.
Motte was acquired by the Blueshirts last season at the trade deadline and his game should be familiar to Rangers fans. The 27-year-old is a fast player who is responsible in the defensive zone. He is a reliable penalty killer and is clearly trusted by head coach Gerard Gallant and the rest of the coaching staff. Motte knows the system and should adjust rather easily given his familiarity with his new teammates and his role. Motte At 5’10, 192 pounds, Motte had nine points in 38 games with Ottawa and was a plus one. He has only taken two minor penalties all season.
Gauthier was starting to come into his own, but ultimately the Rangers wanted what they know they can rely on in the playoffs. Gauthier will get more of an opportunity in Ottawa to play on a more regular basis. The Quebec native had nine points in 40 games as a member of the Blueshirts this season.
Rangers vs Jets
New York will return home to host the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night. The Rangers went 2-0-1 in western Canada The Blueshirts did not play their best hockey over the course of the three games, but they still found a way to get five out of six points. The Blueshirts trailed early in the first period in all three games, but they were able to fight back and get something from each game.
The Jets are playing the second leg of a back-to-back as they suffered defeat in New Jersey on Sunday night. Winnipeg had a 2-1 lead going into the third period, but two Devils goals in less then two minutes would change the outcome as the Jets suffered their 21st regulation defeat of the season.
With Connor Hellebuyck starting on Sunday, expect backup goaltender David Rittich to get the nod against the Rangers. Rittich has a 9-5-0 record with a .911 save percentage – very respectable numbers for a backup netminder. Rittich will likely take on Igor Shesterkin who was a spectator in the Rangers previous game against the Flames.
Leading the Jets in point scoring is Kyle Connor with 62 points, but second in team scoring is Josh Morrissey. Morrissey has emerged as a surprising Norris Trophy candidate with 56 points including a plus seven. The left-handed defenseman has already had a career year for points and he is playing the best hockey of his career.
Playing behind Morrissey on the second defensive pairing is former Ranger Neal Pionk. Pionk was trade to Winnipeg in the same trade that brought Jacob Trouba to New York. The right-handed defenseman has 24 points on the season for the Jets.
Tyler Motte is expected to open on the fourth line for the Rangers with Jake Leschyshyn and Barclay Goodrow. It is expected that the Blueshirts are looking to add a fourth-line center by the trade deadline if they can find the right guy. New York just needs someone responsible in their own zone and someone who can win faceoffs. Vincent Trocheck is the only Rangers skater winning over 50% of faceoffs he takes.
Looking to get back into the scoring column is Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad had a six-game goal scoring streak, but that was snapped in Calgary. The Rangers top line center has been red hot in February with eleven points in seven games. The Swedish native will be flanked by Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey to start Monday night’s game. Vladimir Tarasenko is expected to open on a line with Trocheck and longtime friend Artemi Panarin.
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