Tonight the New York Rangers continue their western Canada road trip against the Edmonton Oilers. The puck drops at 8pm ET.
The Rangers enter tonight’s game with 86 points from a 41-30-4 record; good for third in the Metropolitan Division. A win, or over time appearance, tonight would move the Rangers back into second place over the Philadelphia Flyers. The teams are tied in points, the Rangers have more wins, but the Flyers have two games in hand again after tonight. Cam Talbot gets the nod tonight in his third game since the Olympic break. With an 11-6-0 record Talbot has a 1.76 goals against average and a .936 save percentage with two shut outs. Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan continue to lead the team in points with 15 goals for 50 points. Zuccarello and Derick Brassard, 17 goals for 41 points, will be reunited with Benoit Pouliot,12 goals for 30 points, tonight as coach Alain Vigneault looks for the chemistry to return to his line-up. The fourth line of Derek Dorsett, four goals for seven points, Dominic Moore, six goals for 18 points, and Brian Boyle, six goals for 17 points remains intact tonight as Dan Carcillo returns to the line-up on a line with Rick Nash and Stepan. Vigneault is also reuniting the line of Martin St. Louis, three assists as a Ranger, Brad Richards, 18 goals for 49 points, and Carl Hagelin, 17 goals for 33 points. Richards comes into tonight’s game with two goals and an assist in the last three games.
John Moore remains out of the line-up after sustaining a concussion in the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the same game where Chris Kreider was injured. On defense, Raphael Diaz remains in the mix as the Rangers look for continued production from him. Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle need to continue their strong physical play. They have 182 and 143 hits, respectively. Pouliot, brassard, and Zuccarello are also over 100 hits with 125, 120, 106 hits respectively; that’s a tough third line! Girardi and Ryan McDonagh will be counted on to help Talbot blocking shots, they have 64 and 126 respectively.
The Rangers will have to solve the Ben Scrivens puzzle tonight as the face the Oilers. They will also need great speed on the ice. The Oilers are young and speedy. They have snipers who will be looking to catch Talbot off guard.