The Rangers finish up their short Mountain time road trip as the head south to face the Arizona Coyotes. Their most recent meeting, just 16 days ago, ended in a 4-1 Rangers victory. Both teams are expected to miss top-line forwards; the Rangers with Rick Nash and the Coyotes with Antoine Vermette.
After their loss to the Rangers, the Coyotes continued their hot play, going 3-2-0, and clinging to fourth place in the Pacific division. Anthony Duclair has cooled off a bit, posting no points since the game against New York in October. Max Domi, however, has continued playing well, scoring 2 goals over the five game span, good enough to put him into a tie for the team lead, as well as second in points. Mike Smith (5-3-1, 3.05, .904) is expected to get the start in net for Arizona. Here is the full Coyotes projected lineup:
Tobias Rieder - Martin Hanzal - Anthony Duclair
Max Domi - Tyler Gaudet - Mikkel Boedker
Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan
Kyle Chipchura - Boyd Gordon - Steve Downie
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone
Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek
Nicklas Grossman - Connor Murphy
The Rangers are once again expecting to be without Rick Nash, and will likely insert Emerson Etem into the top line. In last night's win over Colorado, Etem registered 12:56 of ice time, and finished the game with 1 hit, 0 shots, and 0 points. Dan Boyle makes his return to the lineup after missing the past two games as a healthy scratch. Antti Raanta (2-0-0, 0.50, .978) will get his third start of the season, as the Rangers give Lundqvist the night off on a back-to-back. Here is the Rangers projected lineup:
Emerson Etem - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - J.T. Miller
Oscar Lindberg- Kevin Hayes - Viktor Stalberg
Jesper Fast - Dominic Moore - Jarret Stoll
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
Keith Yandle - Dan Boyle
Let's hope the boys aren't too tired after last night's game + travel, because they're going to need their legs tonight. Just as I wrote in the last game thread vs Arizona, this is a quick, young team that can hop on any little mistake that you make. Hopefully the Rangers can get off to a quick start and quell any Arizona attack.
Let's go Rangers.