Preview – Rangers vs Oilers 11/3
The Rangers will head into tonight’s contest with the Oilers in the middle of one of the hottest scoring stretches in recent memory.
Since being down 2-0 against the Bruins last week, the team has outscored its opponents 16-1 at home, and 18-4 overall. And the goals have been coming from everyone in the lineup. The adjustment made by Alain Vigneault, to move rookie Pavel Buchnevich down to the 4th line, has given the Rangers four legitimate scoring lines. The recently put together 3rd line of Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner and JT Miller has been clicking, and have combined for 11 points in the last 2 games. Derek Stepan has yet to score a goal this year, but his linemates (Rick Nash and Jimmy Vesey), have scored a total of 11 goals on the season.
The defense has contributed to the scoring as well. The Rangers defense has scored 3 goals so far this season, two of them coming from Dan Girardi, equaling his total from all of the last year; and captain Ryan McDonagh is in the middle of an 8 game point streak (all assists). The team has been starting their offensive rushes from the defensive zone, showing that they are committed to playing good team defense, and knowing they will score if they do so.
Speaking of defense, Henrik Lundqvist has looked solid so far this season. A real good performance on Tuesday against the Blues, in which he recorded his 60th career shutout, was the kind of game he needed. It wasn’t needed because of his play, but it was needed for his psyche. He started out a bit shaky this season, giving up early goals, and mishandling the puck. He seems to have settled in nicely and will be looking to build on his performance against St. Louis.
The Rangers defense will be given a bit of a test against the Oilers. Aside from NHL sensation and superstar Connor McDavid, the Oilers are a team that does have some decent speed. And with off-season additions of Milan Lucic and Jesse Puljujarvi up front, along with Adam Larsson and Kris Russel on defense, the Oilers may actually get back to the playoffs this year.
Puck drops from MSG at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!