It’s Duck Hunting Season at MSG as Rangers Welcome Ducks
The New York Rangers take on the Anaheim Ducks at home tonight. This is another big game for the Blueshirts, and they got an early holiday gift came yesterday, in the form of a first line center.
AV said barring a last minute development, he’s expecting @MikaZibanejad to return to the #NYR lineup tomorrow.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 18, 2017
Undoubtedly, this is a massive boost to the lineup. If nothing else, the power play has missed number 93 on the left boards. His shot was a big factor in a productive power play. His return also could be huge for Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider as the fan favorite KZB line had great chemistry before the Zibanejad injury.
After two dramatic wins this past weekend, the Rangers look to continue their modest two-game winning streak. The Anaheim Ducks currently are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race. To simply put this is another game the Rangers need to win.
Keys To The Game
SHOOT THE PUCK – Not often does a team trade a top four defenseman and maintain depth at that position. The Ducks were able to do that when they traded Sami Vatanen to the New Jersey Devils. The Ducks are 3-1-3 since the trade, and it seems that both teams are benefitting from the deal.
While the Ducks have a crop of talented young defenseman, they are giving up more goals than they are scoring, especially in the third period. Last night’s loss saw the Ducks surrender three goals, with one being an empty netter in the third. I’m no hockey expert but I believe that is a bad formula.
No Goals For You – The Rangers are going to spend the rest of the season fighting to make the playoffs, this means that every tilt will be meaningful. Goaltending will need to continue it’s strong play. The Ducks are able to score at all positions, and the revival of the Rangers season can be traced back to strong goaltending. In order to win this needs to continue.
Players to Watch
Pavel Buchnevich – With the return of Mika Zibanejad, Buch will look to immediately restore the chemistry they had before the injury. I see Buchnevich skating to the open ice and looking for offensive opportunities more. Now that he has an offensive minded center again, I think this opens Buch up more to score.
Andrew Cogliano – The speedster is a serious threat every time he is on the ice. Similar to Grabner, he creates mismatches almost every time he is on the ice. Skjei or McDonagh is the only defensemen that can even match the skating ability of Cogs. It will be interesting to see how AV counters.
Adam Henrique – The former New Jersey Devils forward is coming off of a very good night against his former club. Henrique had a goal and an assist and has eight points in the nine games since being traded to the Orange County club. Henrique has also been a solid force against the Rangers throughout the years, posting twelve points in 27 games during his career. Alain Vigneault’s squad will need to keep their eye on the newest member of the Ducks’ flock.
Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!