Preview – Rangers vs Hurricanes 10/28
After a huge 5-2 comeback win over the Bruins on Wednesday, the Rangers head down to Raleigh to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blueshirts are currently in the midst of a 3 game winning streak, with wins over the aforementioned Bruins, Coyotes and Capitals. Over these last three games, the team has shown resiliency and a “never say die” attitude that will be important as the season wears on.
Another factor has been the team speed. One of the foundations of Alain Vigneault’s style of play is speed. All four lines have tremendous ability to play with speed. When they were all healthy, the KZB line was super fast. Jimmy Vesey has forced a guy like Rick Nash to move his feet more to be in a position to make a play. JT Miller has been flying all year, and it showed on Wednesday against the Bruins with his multitude of chances. And the 4th line, whoever has been on it, is built for speed and grinding, including Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner.
Tonight’s game should be a small test for the Rangers. While on paper the Blueshirts should win this game, the Hurricanes are playing in their home opener, and will have the emotions of the crowd behind them. This is one of those trap games where a team can take their foot off the gas because they assume they will win just by showing up. The Rangers need to keep their momentum rolling and make sure to play a responsible, team game to make sure they pull out the W.
Pavel Buchnevich is expected to return to the lineup tonight after missing the last 5 games with back spasms. With Chris Kreider still out dealing with neck spasms, we will still have to wait for the KZB line to get back together.
Henrik Lundqvist will get the start tonight as the Rangers look for their 4th straight win. Hank enters the game with a 4-2 record, 2.35 GAA and a .907 SV%. While the team has bounced back after the early goal or two, Hank needs to have a strong game from start to finish tonight.
McIlrath Clears Waivers
McIlrath & Paajarvi clear
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 28, 2016