Game Thirty-One, the Carolina Hurricanes at the New York Rangers
This will be the Rangers first game at Madison Square Garden since they beat the Penguins in overtime with a Kevin Klein slapper on December 8th.
The only question that matters tonight is whether or not it will be six straight wins for the Blueshirts. Last night Kevin Klein was once again the hero for the Rangers when he scored late in the third period to send the game into overtime and eventually the shootout. The Rangers won in the shootout thanks primarily to Henrik Lundqvist and a gorgeous quick release by Zuke. The Rangers were up against it late in the game, especially after Matt Hunwick's goal was waved off because of Ward's helmet coming off, but they came up big once again.
Tonight the Rangers are going to have to play exactly like they played in the first period of last night's game for the entire game. Although it might be wise to not take quite as many penalties and to find some rebounds around the net to get second and third chances against the Carolina defense and goaltending. Cam Ward was something special last night and was the reason the Hurricanes came away with a point. No matter who is in the Hurricanes net its unlikely that they will be half as good as Ward was last night. Once again, this is a game where the Rangers can only beat themselves and they will do that by not finishing on chances, by taking penalties, and by making mistakes that turn into scoring chances for the Hurricanes. In fact, all of those things happened last night. It's a good thing that the Rangers have an offensive dynamo in Kevin Klein.
The New York Rangers' December Schedule
12/1 Tampa Bay at the Rangers, 7:00(loss) 12/6 Rangers at Detroit, 7:00(loss) 12/8 Penguins at Rangers, 7:00(win) 12/13 Rangers at Vancouver, 10:00(win) 12/14 Rangers at Edmonton, 9:30(win) 12/16 Rangers at Calgary, 9:00(win) 12/20 Rangers at Carolina, 7:00(win)
12/21 Carolina at Rangers, 7:00
12/23 Capitals at Rangers, 7:00
12/27 Devils at Rangers, 7:00
12/29 Rangers at Dallas, 8:30
12/31 Rangers at Florida, 6:00
Mike's Player to Watch: Chris Kreider
The Rangers are likely going to look to their young legs to have a good game in the second game of this home and home with the Hurricanes and right now there is no Rangers' kid that needs a big game than Kreider. It's true that Kreider scored a power play goal against the Flames and looked solid against Carolina last night, but the Rangers still want to see more out of him. If you played tape of the Rangers' last six games or so and asked someone who was new to hockey which player is better- JT Miller or Chris Kreider, they would probably take Miller. It's time for Kreider to wake up and start doing some damage for the Rangers.
Let's go Rangers! Let's make it 6! Hope you all had a great weekend.