The Rangers are set to kick off their yearly swing through western Canada tonight, and the first stop on the trip will be in British Columbia for a matchup with the Vancouver Canucks. These two teams squared off exactly one week ago at Madison Square Garden as the Rangers earned a 4-3 victory in the most recent rematch of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.
Although the Blueshirts have only played two games between last Wednesday and tonight, the acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues transpired the day after New York’s victory over the Canucks, so it will be a new look Rangers’ team as far as Vancouver is concerned. For Gerard Gallant’s squad, the early returns have been good. A pair of victories by a combined seven goals over likely playoff bound teams in Seattle and Carolina is a good sign for New York as they look to integrate their new players into the team down the stretch.
Player to Watch: Artemiy Panarin
Although Panarin was initially slotted on a line with Tarasenko, some forward jumbling during the team’s previous game saw Panarin end up with Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey as his linemates. Panarin responded with a four goal effort in the Blueshirts’ 6-2 win over the Hurricanes, so the lines from that game will still be in tact tonight. Keep an eye on Panarin as he looks to keep the ball rolling with another strong performance.
Enjoy the game!