New York Rangers hope not to slip up against Oilers in matinee

New York Rangers
Jan 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will suit up against the Edmonton Oilers in a Saturday afternoon contest hoping to avoid a losing streak. After ending their four-game western road trip with a loss to the Anaheim Ducks, they’ll now play five of the next six in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden.

Despite the loss to the Ducks, the Blueshirts went 2-1-1 on the trip playing decent hockey.

“I think we played pretty good hockey for the most part to be honest with you,” Gerard Gallant said on Friday. “I think our record could be better. Then I look at it and see we played 21 games with 5 of them back-to-back and a lot of travel. I’m not making excuses, we’ll be better.”

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (10-7-4) vs. Edmonton Oilers (10-10-0)
Date/Time: November 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers take on Oilers scoring machine

new york rangers
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers will take on the high-flying Oilers, who have NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid (35 points). It also doesn’t help that Edmonton has the fourth leading point-getter in Leon Draisaitl (31 points).

To combat that and get his big offensive weapons going, Gallant has top loaded his first line by bumping up Artemi Panarin and shifting Chris Kreider to the right of Mika Zibanejad.

“I just wanted to shake things up the other night,” the coach explained. “I thought for the 25 minutes they played (in Anaheim) they looked really good. If we don’t like it, that’s a real easy switch.”

Here’s the projected lineup:

  • Panarin – Zibanejad – Kreider
  • Vesey – Trocheck – Goodrow
  • Lafrenière – Chytil – Kakko
  • Blais – Carpenter – Gauthier
  • Lindgren – Fox
  • Miller – Trouba
  • Jones – Schneider
  • Shesterkin
  • Halak

Should things not pan out in the first period, Vesey will likely go back the right side on the first line and Panarin will drop back to his left wing spot with Vincent Trocheck.

The coach will finalize the lineup when he speaks with the media today at 11AM.

Igor Shesterkin is projected to be the starter with his 10-2-3 record. This season, the 26 year-old goaltender has an excellent GAA of 2.38 and a solid .917 save percentage.

This will also be his first ever career start versus the Oilers.

Another lineup note based on Friday’s practice is that Vitali Kravtsov will miss his seventh straight game, the fifth as a healthy scratch.

Oilers desperate for a win

The Edmonton Oilers are on a two-game slide and will be desperate for a win. They’re 3-7-0 in the last 10 games and have slipped all the way fifth in the Pacific Division.

Similar to their last opponent, the Oilers have no trouble scoring but keeping the puck out of their net has been a serious problem. Starting goalie Jack Campbell has struggled with a GAA of 4.15 and an .876 SV% which has led to a 6-5-0 record.

What the Rangers hope for is some consistency in their favor. Anaheim’s goalie John Gibson also came into the last game struggling but managed to be All-World stopping 41 of 43 shots en route to a 3-2 win over the Blueshirts.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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