Last night, Henrik Lundqvist dragged the Rangers to two points against the coldest team in the league. So Elvis only knows what’s in store tonight against the squad that seems to be hottest, in several categories: wins, hype, coaching ... basically, everything except their criminally unimaginative name and inexplicable failure to grab Jaromir Jagr.
Yes, the Blueshirts beat the Knights 6-4 last time, scoring more goals in the third period of that game alone than they’ve scored in a game AT ALL since 12/19. Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello both contributed. (I’m going to go cry now.)
Whatever happens tonight, Lundqvist likely won’t be part of it: Ondrej Pavelec gets the start. But goaltending isn’t the problem. The Rangers were outshot by the Coyotes 36 to 25. It ... wasn’t fun.
The Rangers are currently being completely outclassed in every facet of the game by a team that has FOUR (4) regulation wins more than halfway through the season.— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) January 7, 2018
It’s hard — impossible, even — not to connect this dearth of shots with the length of time since the Rangers won a game in regulation. Quick, when was it?
(Again, it was against the Ducks on December 19th. We were so much younger then ...)
Ok, here we go. Warmup: Buchnevich and Smith not taking rushes.— Justin Tasch (@J_Tasch) January 8, 2018
Lineup changes tonight: Michael Grabner shifts to the fourth line, Paul Carey to the second line, Jesper Fast to the first line, and Pavel Buchnevich is a healthy scratch. Steven Kampfer replaces Brendan Smith on the third pair.