Rangers close out trip against Ducks, will Vitali Kravtsov play?

Vitali Kravtsov is patiently waiting for another chance.

One thing that Gerard Gallant does not like to do with the New York Rangers lineup is make a change when they’re winning. After storming back from a 2-0 deficit against the Los Angeles Kings, the Blueshirts hope to close out this four-game western road trop with a win against the Anaheim Ducks.

Since this is the second game of a back-to-back set, backup Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the start in goal. However, it’s unlikely Vitali Kravtsov will be back in after being cleared to join the team for this trip last week.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (10-6-4) vs. Anaheim Ducks (5-13-1)
Date/Time: November 23, 2022 at 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Honda Center
TV: MSG. MSG2
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers take on Ducks

New York Rangers
Nov 19, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Oskar Lindblom (23) and New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrate after the open goal score during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Kravtsov, 22, has just one assist in six games this season and is looking for an opportunity to get back in the lineup. He’s been plagued by injuries with a tooth infection taking him out of the lineup after the team’s big 8-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on November 10.

“He’s had some unfortunate luck,” Gallant said about Kravtsov on Monday. “Right now, I’ve liked the way our team is playing. It’s going to happen– he’s going to play. We want to give him every opportunity.”

The head coach said he has an idea of when he may get him back in the mix, but he’s not known for making changes after a win.

“I like the way we played,” Gallant explained before Tuesday’s win over the Kings. “The way we played (Saturday) was real good, so I’m not going to change anything.”

So when will Kravtsov play again? It’s possible that Gallant may feel the need to get him in against a weak Ducks team, but the Rangers need to go on a run. A win tonight will match their season-high winning streak of three games (10/29 to 11/1).

Basically, your guess is as good as mine when it will come Kravtsov’s next game.

Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the green light versus Anaheim. This will be his first game since a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on 11/12. For the season, he’s 0-4-1 with a 3.22 GAA and a SV% of .883.

The hottest Rangers player coming into this contest is Adam Fox, who’s riding a nine-game point streak (4G -10A). He’s currently the team leader in scoring with 23 points (6G – 17A) in 20 games. That’s also good to be tied with Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres for second overall in NHL scoring by defensemen.

Watch out for Dangerous Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks are in the lead for the most ping-pong balls in the Connor Bedard draft lottery with the lowest point total in the NHL to date (11).

They’ve lost three straight and are 3-7 in their last ten games. But they do have some excellent offensive players like Trevor Zegras that could turn the game on it’s head with one lacrosse style goal.

Zegras has 16 points in 19 games on the season, which is second to only Troy Terry’s 20 points. Meanwhile, former Rangers center Ryan Strome has 11 points for third on the team.

Scoring hasn’t really been an issue for the Ducks, it’s defense and goaltending.

John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz have struggled with a combined GAA of 4.02 and a subpar .891 SV%.

Tonight would be a great time for the Rangers to have one of their heavy shot total games.

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