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Game #42: Colorado Avalanche vs New York Rangers Open Thread

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Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

After a lackluster first half of the 2019-20 campaign, the Rangers are set to kick off the second act of their season at Madison Square Garden tonight. They will welcome Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and the rest of an offensively explosive Colorado Avalanche team.

Currently staring at a seven point deficit with five teams standing between them and the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Blueshirts will need to find another level in their game if they’re to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

Strong individual efforts from Artemiy Panarin and Mika Zibanejad have comprised a majority of the offense, while a bounce back season from Henrik Lundqvist has made up the historically bad defense David Quinn’s squad plays on a nightly basis. With Lundqvist watching tonight’s game, a strong defensive effort from Ryan Lindgren, Marc Staal and friends will be needed now more than ever.

Player to Watch: Igor Shesterkin

After being recalled from AHL Hartford yesterday, Shesterkin will make his long anticipated NHL debut tonight. Five and half years after being selected in the 4th round of the 2014 Entry Draft, Shesterkin’s strong play in his first North American season forced Jeff Gorton’s hand. The Russian netminder is being rewarded with his first official NHL action tonight, and it comes against a dangerous Avalanche team. Look for Shesterkin to continue the dominance he’s put on display over his last several years split between the KHL and AHL.

Enjoy the game!