Starting tonight, the New York Rangers will be on the road, as they play their next three games north of the border.
New York Rangers (18-7-3, 39 points-2nd in NHL Metropolitan Division)
Vancouver Canucks (10-11-8, 28 points-3rd in NHL Pacific Division)
Tonight, 10:00 pm on RSN and MSG+
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
By Patrick Comia
Three road games in the next four nights.
That’s what awaits the New York Rangers, as they play the Canucks tonight in Vancouver. The team is coming off a much-needed win over the Senators last Sunday, where they put forth a better effort than in their previous five games.
They find themselves in second place in the Metropolitan Division heading into their matchup with the Canucks, albeit one point behind the Capitals who are idle tonight. The Islanders, who played last night in Philadelphia, are two points behind the Blueshirts and don’t play till Saturday.
If anything, the Rangers need to take advantage of this road trip to gain some points and solidly their place in the standings.
Let’s hope with their 4-1 win over Ottawa the sleeping giant has awaken.
Derick Brassard has five points in his past five games, including a two-goal performance last game.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 8, 2015
He, along with Mats Zuccarello, are the catalysts to the team’s offense. Scoring needs to come from somewhere, and it starts with those two.
Unfortunately, the feisty left winger has gone in a dry spell, scoring one goal in his past five games. It’s no secret that the offense revolves around Zuccarello. As he goes, normally the Blueshirts follow.
One trend that fans are hoping to see continue is the Power Play. Against the Senators, the Rangers went a perfect two-for-two with the man-advantage, scoring two goals in the first period. The Rangers hadn’t scored two power play goals in a game since going two-for-four versus the Hurricanes on November 30th. Since then, they had not scored with the man-advantage in two straight games.
In net, fans should expect Henrik Lundqvist. Even though this will be the first of two consecutive nights where the Rangers will be in action, Hank should be well-rested and be a go for tonight given the days off between tonight and this past Sunday.
In his career, Lundqvist is 4-3 with a 2.03 GAA and a save percentage of near .940. If the Rangers play like we know they can which was seen against the Senators, his job will be that much easier to perform.
Head coach Alain Vigneault will be coaching his 999th game against his former employer, in a familiar surrounding of Rogers Arena. In six and half seasons (2007-2013), he led the Canucks to six postseason appearances and one Stanley Cup Final appearance (2011). Vigneault’s Canucks missed the playoffs only once (2008).
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 9, 2015
It’s a going to be a late-niter, but one not to miss.
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