New York Rangers need Sammy Blais to step up on this trip; Shesterkin starts vs Kraken

New York Rangers Sammy Blais
Oct 31, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Rangers left wing Sammy Blais (91) moves the puck towards the goal while being chased by Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn (29) during the second period at Climate Pledge Arena. New York defeated Seattle 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are on a very important four-game road trip and they need this to be a very successful tour out west.

Last season, their first western trip (10/31/21 – 11/6/21) resulted in a 1-1-2 record. Oddly enough, it also started in Seattle where they beat the Kraken 3-1. They followed that up with two OT losses to the Vancouver Canucks (3-2) and Edmonton Oilers (6-5). New York closed out the trip in Calgary to the tune of a 6-0 loss to the Flames.

“We have a really good team,” Vincent Trocheck said. “I think sometimes we squeeze the sticks a little to tight and we need to lighten up a little bit. I don’t want to say to be loose but to have fun. Confidence goes a long way, so if we play with confidence we’ll be at our fullest potential.”

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (8-6-3) vs. Seattle Kraken (8-5-3)
Date/Time: November 17, 2022 at 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Climate Pledge Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers Lineup vs Kraken

rangers kraken
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports, Igor Shesterkin will get the start in goal for the Rangers with no lineup changes from the team’s last game against the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Shesterkin, 26, is 8-2-2 on the season with a GAA of 2.40 and a SV% of .915. On the road, he’s 4-0-0 with a .908 SV% and a 2.51 GAA.

For his career against the Kraken, Shesterkin is a perfect 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA but a .959 SV%.

Here’s the lineup:

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

Sammy Blais needs to step up on this trip

The Blueshirts could really use for Sammy Blais to come alive on this trip.

Blais, 26, missed almost all of last season with a torn ACL and is still trying to find his skating legs. In 14 games this season, he’s only been able to muster 3 assists and a handful of good scoring chances.

According to the head coach, Blais is starting to come around in the last few games.

“I see some bright spots. He’s playing well but it was a major injury,” Gallant said. “I’ve seen the last four or five games, he’s played better hockey and it’s coming. Be big, physical, bumping, finishing checks, going to net and showing good hands. That’s what he can do for us.”

In his last four games, Blais has averaged around 11 shifts per contest. He has one assist, which came in the 8-2 blowout against the Detroit Red Wings and is averaging about a shot per game. Physically, he’s recording 3 hits on average in the same span.

The Rangers would really benefit if Blais could bring some offense to the team’s fourth line. Any secondary scoring the Rangers can get will go a long way to a successful road trip before Thanksgiving Day.

Rangers game notes

  • NYR are 2-0-0 lifetime vs the Seattle Kraken
  • Artemi Panarin is 1 assist away from 400 in his career
  • Adam Fox is on a 6-game point streak (3G – 7A)

NHL News and Rumors

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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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