Kevin Hayes, New York Rangers
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Coming off an impressive win over the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers are looking to end 2017 on a high note.

  • New York Rangers (20-13-4)
  • Detroit Red Wings (13-16-7)
  • Television: MSG Networks
  • Venue: Litte Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI 

The New York Rangers went back to work in order to prepare for their final game before the 2018 calendar year.

Vinni Lettieri, who was just recalled Thursday, will finally get a chance to make his mark in the NHL after an impressive pre-season. The 22-year-old is getting the chance to make is mark due to the Chris Kreider injury. He might be on the fourth line, but his impact has the chance to be big should he receive minutes and it looks like he will as he appears to be filling in for Kreider on the team’s second power-play unit.

Outside of Lettieri, there were no other line changes for head coach Alain Vigneault. The changes he made prior to the Blueshirts’ contest against Washington worked to perfection as they held the Capitals to just 30 shots on goal.

Goal Tending Matchup

For the Rangers, the expectation is that Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal after having the night off in the teams’ first game after the Christmas break. Over Lundqvist’s last nine games he is 5-3-1 with a .935 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against-average.

The most impressive numbers for Lundqvist is that over his last three games he has made 118 saves on 125 shots. During that span, he has a goals-against-average of 2.28 and he’s played some of the best hockey of his career.

Jimmy Howard is expected to get the start for Detroit and that’s something that Ranger fans have seen for quite some time. Howard made 32 saves in the Rangers 2-1 overtime victory when the Red Wings came to Madison Square Garden November 24. Howard is 2-4-2 in his last nine games with a .890 save percentage.

Reliving the 2012 Winter Classic

We are just three days away from the Rangers and Sabres facing off in the 2018 Winter Classic. This is the second the Winter Classic the Rangers have taken part in in the last five years and the first one was memorable.

Mike Rupp scored twice for the Blueshirts in that 2012 outdoor affair in Philadelphia against the rival Flyers. Henrik Lundqvist put the team on his back in the final minute stopping a Daniel Briere penalty shot with 19.6 seconds remaining in regulation.

Players from that 2012 team reminisce about that memorable game in the video above, give it a view it’s worth the watch.

Other Rangers News

  • I examine the recent Ranger line changes by head coach Alain Vigneault.
  • ESNY’s John Fiorino asks for the Rangers and Islanders to face-off in a playoff series.
  • Blueshirt Banter’s Kevin Power looks at the Rangers’ history in outdoor games.
Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.