New York was white hot heading into the Christmas break. With 16 points taken from the last 18 available, the Rangers had won eight of the last nine before the holidays. Now, they will be looking to fend off the rust as they are set to welcome the Washington Capitals into Madison Square Garden. In a clash between two of the hotter teams in the NHL, this is going to be a game that you cannot miss.
The obvious storyline whenever a team faces the Caps is going to be Alex Ovechkin and his chase of the NHL goal-scoring record. His chase of 894 is nearing its finale as the Great Eight sits second all-time in goal-scoring in the NHL. Former Ranger Wayne Gretzky holds the record, but Ovechkin is closing in on the Great One quickly. New York will need to keep the Russian sniper silent if they want to give themselves the best chance in this game.
Vitali Kravtsov is expected to keep his place on the top-line wing alongside Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. He was there in the morning skate today and he’s still expected to slot into the Rangers lineup. He’s struggled to find a place in the lineup that he could nail down and if he can cement that place now, he’ll have the chance to start to really build his Rangers career despite the early struggles so far.
New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Vitali Kravtsov
Chris Kreider — Vincent Trocheck — Jimmy Vesey
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jonny Brodzinski — Barclay Goodrow — Julien Gauthier
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur – Braden Schneider
Alex Ovechkin – Dylan Strome – Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Anthony Mantha
Marcus Johansson – Lars Eller – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Aliaksei Protas – Nic Dowd – Garnet Hathaway
Dmitry Orlov – Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson – Trevor van Riemsdyk
Alexander Alexeyev – Matt Irwin
Where to watch and puck drop time
This is a 7 PM Eastern Puck drop that will start at the garden soon. The Rangers will need a win tonight in order to continue their hot streak. They will be one of the feared opponents tonight as the Garden is the stage for the biggest game of this recent hot streak so far. New York is trying to cement itself as one of the beasts of the Metropolitan division. New York is going to need two points from this one