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New York Rangers Game Thread: 1/7, Rangers at Ducks

I hope the coaches have been preparing for a way to stop the "Flying V".

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Game Thirty-Seven, the New York Rangers at the Anaheim Ducks
Record: 21-11-4

Rangers vs Ducks coverage| NYR roster | Anaheim Calling | Battle of Cali

Nick Mercadante's Analytics Preview linked HERE

And so it begins. Six of the next seven games will be on the road and there isn't a game among them that feels like a lay-up. Or, because it's hockey, we'll call it an empty-net breakaway... unless you're Patrik Stefan. Remember Patrik Stefan? Ohhhh Patrik Stefan.

Tonight the Rangers will go head-to-head with the team that has the most points in the league: the Anaheim Ducks. This means the Blueshirts are starting a road trip of the California which means three games in four nights against some exceptionally good hockey clubs. The Ducks have an outstanding power play and they simply do not lose their grip on a game once they take the lead, especially on home ice. The Rangers have been on a roll lately, going 9-1-0 in their last ten games, so we should see a very special hockey game if we can all stay awake long enough to get past the second period. To say that tonight will be a tough test for the Rangers really goes without saying, they are going to have to play a very strong road game against a very good hockey club. The Rangers will be plugging John Moore back into the lineup tonight (for Matt Hunwick), and Henrik Lundqvist will get the start against Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks.

The New York Rangers' January Schedule

1/3 Sabres at Rangers, 7:00 (win.)
1/7 Rangers at Ducks, 10:30
1/8 Rangers at Kings, 10:30
1/10 Rangers at Sharks, 10:00
1/13 Islanders at Rangers, 7:00
1/15 Rangers at Bruins, 7:00
1/16 Rangers at Blue Jackets, 7:00
1/18 Rangers at Penguins, 12:30
1/20 Senators at Rangers, 7:00
1/27 Rangers at Islanders, 7:00
1/29 Canadiens at Rangers, 7:00
1/31 Hurricanes at Rangers, 7:00

Mike's Player to Watch: Henrik Lundqvist

The Rangers might need a gem from Lundqvist to come away from tonight's game with two points. Hank has been outstanding as of late, and the Rangers are going to need him to keep his form on this brutal stretch of games that will take us deep into January. There are some big names and some dangerous forwards on the Ducks that can and will punish you if you give them too much time and space. We've seen plenty of lapses in defensive coverage from the Rangers' blue line where odd-man rushes, high quality scoring chances, or breakaways are allowed thanks to poor decision making and players blowing their assignments. If that happens against a team like the Ducks the Rangers are going to fall behind, and if they do that, they will have a hell of a time getting back into the game. Hopefully the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist will be able to bend but not break under the pressure of the Ducks tonight.

Hope you guys enjoy tonight's game. Put on a pot of coffee.