The New York Rangers return to action after all-star break to host the Colorado Avalanche

Dec 9, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) scores on
Dec 9, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) scores on / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Hockey is back, and the New York Rangers will be enjoying their return to the ice as the Blueshirts host the Colorado Avalanche on their return from the lay off. With the Blueshirts well rested after a dismal 5-7-2 record in January, it is time for Peter Laviolette and his crew to get back into the win column and they will have a chance to do that tonight under the bright Broadway Lights at Madison Square Garden.

On Will Cuyelle's birthday, he is expected to partner Jonny Brodzinski and Kaapo Kakko on the Rangers' third line as Filip Chytil was shutdown for the year. It means that Blake Wheeler will go back up to the top line beside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad as the Rangers continue to look for a combination that will help them get the most out of their dangerous players at even-strength.

Ranger captain Jacob Trouba will remain unavailable tonight as he serves the second game of his suspension handed to him by the department of player safety. It's a big hole to fill on the blueline, but Ryan Lindgren will be able to step back into the lineup as he is good to go after being knocked up in the penultimate game before the break.

Former New York Rangers Jack Johnson and Alexander Georgiev will return to the garden tonight. It'll also be Zach Parise's debut as a member of the Colorado Avalanche as the forward returns to action after sitting out for the first half of the season without a contract. He will be eager to show that he still has that 20 goal upside he flashed last season as a member of the New York Islanders.

Projected Lineups

Colorado Avalanche

Jonathan Drouin - Nathan Mackinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Zach Parise - Ryan Johnson - Artturi Lehkonen
Miles Wood - Ross Colton - Logan O'Connor
Andrew Cogliano - Frederik Olofsson - Joel Kiviranta
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Samuel Girard - Josh Manson
Bowen Byram - Jack Johnson
Alexander Georgiev
Justus Annunen

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Jonny Brodzinski - Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey - Barclay Goodrow - Tyler Pitlick
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Braden Schneider
Zac Jones - Erik Gustafsson
Jonathan Quick
Igor Shesterkin

Puck Drop

This is a 7 p.m puck drop from the Garden as the New York Rangers will be taking on the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions that are the Colorado Avalanche. While this isn't the same team that dominated league when they won the cup two years ago, they are still capable of beating teams if they are not at their best. It's going to be up to the Rangers to determine how this game goes. A poor performance coming back from the all star break would signal major issues for this roster.