What: New York Rangers vs Vancouver Canucks
When:Puck drops at 2:00pm
Coming off a 5 game road stretch the Rangers return home to face the Vancouver Canucks, The Rangers have only faced the Canucks during the preseason; in Vancouver. The a fore mentioned game was during the very long 9 game road trip occuring manly on the west coast and without the presence of Derek Stepan. In the preseason meeting the Canucks, led by former Rangers’ head coach John Torterella, routed the Rangers 5-0. Currently, the Canucks are 5th place in the Pacific Division; behind the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and Phoenix Coyotes. The Canucks are amid a 5 game losing streak with the previous 2 games on the road in California.
The Canucks are 13-9-5 for 31 points while the Rangers have a 13-13 record for 26 points and are now third place in the Metropolitan Division. In 23 games, Roberto Luongo has a 2.32 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. The Sedin twins lead their team in points with Henrik in the lead posting 7 goals for 27 points and Daniel posting 9 goals for 24 points. It’s no secret that the Sedin twins are the foundation of the team; however they are not the only ones to watch out for. With guys like Ryan Kessler and Kevin Bieksa touting points higher than much of the Rangers’ players, there is cause for concern. The Canucks are 8-4-2 on the road this season and are averaging nearly 3 goals scored per game.
Cam Talbot was announced to be the starter against the Canucks. Talbot boasts a 1.41 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. He has a 5-1 record with 2 shutouts. In recent games, several of the Rangers’ top names have begun to really make their presence known. Rick Nash has been playing a faster and more physical game than last year, as well as scoring earlier in the game. Brad Richards has made his resurgence known as he leads the team in points with 7 goals for 18 points. With Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello tied with 14 points they are also adding to the scoring depth of the team. The Rangers are 4-5 at home this season with a combined 20 goals.
This game is crucial to both teams. The Rangers are looking add points and rebound from their loss against the Boston Bruins in the Thanksgiving Showdown while the Canucks are looking to gain some traction by stringing some wins together.
It seems as though Derek Dorsett will again be a game time decision based on his sore wrist so that also means the decision to play Taylor Pyatt will be hinging as well. It could end up being possible that Benoit Pouliot sits out. There is also the question of defensive scratches. Will it be Justin Falk or Michael Del Zotto who gets the assignment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.