Rangers welcome Talbot and McDavid to MSG to close out homestand
The Rangers (7-3-0) will look to sweep their three game homestand tonight when they take on the surprisingly good Edmonton Oilers (7-2-1) for the first time this season.
The Rangers have won the first two games of this homestand by a combined score of 11-1, recording the first shutout of the season Tuesday night against the Blues thanks to Henrik Lundqvist’s 35 save performance.
This is the first matchup between the Rangers and the Oilers this season, and the only one at Madison Square Garden. The teams split the season series last year, with the home team winning each game. The Rangers scored at least four goals in each of the games and a total of nine. Rick Nash led the team with five points (2-3-5) while Mats Zuccarello tallied a pair of goals and assists.
This marks the first game that Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot will play against the Rangers. McDavid was out with an injury during the two games last season while Talbot was backup for those two games. It’ll be exciting, albeit terrifying, to see what McDavid can do against this team and this defense, and the battle of mentor versus student when Lundqvist takes on Cam Talbot.
This is also a battle of two very strong offenses. The Rangers have the most goals in the league, scoring an extremely high 40 goals already and averaging 4.00 goals per game. The Oilers started the season scoring a tremendous amount, but have cooled down a bit lately. The talent and potential is there however.
Cam Talbot gets the start and has had a fantastic start to the season. He’s already been named an NHL star of the week, and has started every game this season. He has a 7-2-1 record with a 2.14 GAA and a .932 save percentage.
Obviously, Connor McDavid is the player to watch. He’s off to a great start with five goals and 12 points in 10 games, and is on pace to be better than a point per game player. His skills are remarkable. Nobody in the league skates better with the puck than he does, so Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Nick Holden are going to have a difficult night. McDavid will get on the scoreboard, it’s essentially inevitable. In a regular season contest that ultimately doesn’t mean a lot, make sure to sit back and enjoy his play every time he’s on the ice.
New signing Milan Lucic has also started out well in Edmonton. He was brought in to essentially replace Taylor Hall and provide some extra physicality and veteran presence on a young team. He’s not as talented as Hall, but he’s still a good player and he plays well with Connor McDavid. His four goals are second on the team and his aggressive type of play is tough to deal with.
Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in net for the Rangers. Lundqvist is coming off of the best start of this season, making 35 saves in a shutout victory over the St. Louis Blues. It hasn’t been the best start for him, but hopefully this is a sign of him turning things around. So far Lundqvist is 5-3-0 with a 2.14 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Jimmy Vesey has been red hot lately, scoring five goals and three assists in the last six games. He has nine points through 10 games, far beyond how most fans have expected him to start. He’s adjusted to the speed and playstyle of the NHL very quickly and looks very good. A true power forward that uses his size and strength to his advantage, he also has a deadly shot and a good set of hands. Alongside Rick Nash, who has showed great chemistry alongside Vesey, the top line will look to keep up their torrid scoring pace.
In a game full of youthful talent, Pavel Buchnevich will look to make his mark as well. He hasn’t the same success or luck that Jimmy Vesey has, and he can’t buy a goal despite playing pretty well in the first five games of his career, tallying two assists and coming close to scoring frequently. The “fourth” line with Pirri, Fast and Buchnevich is more than capable of generating offense, and I think Buchnevich will finally find the back of the net tonight.
The Rangers and the Oilers will face off at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.
Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Pavel Buchnevich-Brandon Pirri-Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Nick Holden
Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein
Posted on November 3, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged Adam Larsson, Cam Talbot, Chris Kreider, Connor McDavid, Dan Girardi, Darnell Nurse, Edmonton Oilers, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, Jimmy Vesey, Jordan Eberle, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Madison Square Garden, Mats Zuccarello, Milan Lucic, MSG, National Hockey League, New York Rangers, NHL, Pavel Buchnevich, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rangers vs Oilers, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.