Rangers hope to bounce back against lowly Ducks after latest debacle
The New York Rangers recent play over the last four games (1-3-0) has been mediocre at best. Except for one sharp performance against the Los Angeles Kings, they’ve been a mess in their own zone. However, there’s a chance at redemption when the Anaheim Ducks, currently in last place in the Pacific Division, come to Madison Square Garden for a Friday night tilt.
The visiting Ducks are fresh off a loss two nights ago to the New York Islanders; and though the Rangers’ last game ended in a loss as well (7-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs), Anaheim has been struggling all season to even find the .500 mark — which makes the Ducks a team the Metro Division leader really needs to beat.
Though the Blueshirts are still down several forwards and potentially a defenseman, recent games have shown them to have checked their new system at the arena door and to have strayed into some old bad habits. Tonight presents an opportunity to reverse that trend.
After yesterday’s Rangers practice, head coach Peter Laviolette commented, “I believe that doing the right things in practice, doing the right things inside of a game, playing the right way will lead you to a win….Right now the only thing that should be on our mind is the game tomorrow.”
Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (19-7-1) vs Los Angeles Kings (10-18-0)
Date/Time: December 15, 2023 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG, MSG2
Radio: ESPN 1050 AM
Note: Subject to change, updated for each game
New York Rangers projected lineup
With Filip Chytil yet to return, Kaapo Kakko still out on LTIR, and some questions regarding whether K’Andre Miller will play tonight (personal leave), expect a similar lineup to that of Tuesday night. Jimmy Vesey was hit in the mouth by an errant puck during practice yesterday, so he may be questionable, as well.
Jonathan Quick will be the presumed starting goaltender versus the Ducks. Here are the projected line combinations and defensive pairings:
Kreider – Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Bonino – Brodzinski
Vesey – Goodrow – Pitlick
Lindgren – Fox
Gustafsson – Trouba
Jones – Schneider
The Rangers have an optional skate scheduled for 10:30 AM at Madison Square Garden. Head coach Peter Laviolette will address the media at 4:40 p.m. ET. Please check back for updates.
New York Rangers vs Anaheim Ducks
Although the Rangers are playing one of the worst teams in the NHL, as the Ducks sit 31st out of 32 teams, coach Laviolette isn’t looking past this matchup to Boston on Saturday.
“The message is inside the room to win the day, win the game,” he remarked. “I think if you start looking too far down the road, or if you start looking away from what you need to do inside of the game — like we’re in control tomorrow night of what we can and can’t do, or will or won’t do — and I think that’s what really we should focus on.”
With a win tonight, as per the Rangers, New York can tally 20 wins in 28 games or fewer for the second time in franchise history (28 GP – 1993-94). The Rangers are 6-1-0 following a loss
this season and have outscored opponents 19-12 in those games.
The Rangers are 7-2-1 against Anaheim in their last 10 games and have wins in four of their last five contests against them. Against Western Conference teams this year, New York is 10-2-1 and 6-0-0 against Pacific Division teams.
For the second of 10 times this season, the Blueshirts will wear their third jerseys tonight. When having two or more days between games, New York has a 7-2-0 record. The Rangers are 6-1-0 following a loss this season and have outscored opponents 19-12 in those games.