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Rangers back home to take on the Sharks; McIlrath in for Girardi

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

UPDATE: Pavel Buchnevich will not play tonight along with Dan Girardi. Read on for details.

Following a fantastic offensive effort in a game against the St. Louis Blues, the Rangers (1-1-0) are back at Madison Square Garden for four of the next five games, starting tonight against last year’s Western Conference Champs, the San Jose Sharks (2-0-0).

The teams split the two meetings last season, with the home team winning each game. The Rangers shut out the Sharks 4-0 on October 19 and San Jose won 4-1 at the SAP Center. Marc Staal, Jesper Fast, Mats Zuccarello and Viktor Stalberg scored in the shutout win with Antti Raanta in net, while Dan Boyle was the only Ranger to score in the road loss. Joel Ward had two goals while Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski both scored once.

The Sharks have gotten off to a good start following their magical run to their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. Martin Jones has allowed three goals in 120 minutes, the defense looks good and Brent Burns and Joe Logan Couture have already started scoring. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers at Blues Recap; Dan Girardi potentially out long term

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-blues-10-15

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (1-1-0) traveled to St. Louis to face the Blues (3-0-0) for their first road game last night, and they came out on the wrong end of some puck luck in a 3-2 loss.

Despite completely dominating the game for almost the entire 60 minutes, The Rangers could not score more than two against Carter Hutton, making his debut as a Blue and making some absolutely amazing saves. The Rangers outshot the Blues 35-18, including an incredible 15-0 edge in the third as St. Louis went into full defense mode.

Here are my thoughts and observations from the game; Read the rest of this entry

Rangers head to St. Louis for first road game; Klein still out with back strain

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-blues-2-25

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

After an exciting season opening win over the Islanders at home, the New York Rangers (1-0-0) are on the road in St. Louis to take on the Blues (2-0-0) for the team’s first road game of the season.

This is one of just three road games this month for the Rangers, who will return to Madison Square Garden to play five of their next seven games.

The Rangers are looking to win their third straight game against the Blues after sweeping the season series last year. St. Louis has beaten Chicago and Minnesota so far, and are aiming to win their first three games of the season for just the fourth time in franchise history. Over the past six years the Blues have dominated Eastern Conference foes, posting a Western Conference best 84-33-15 record. Read the rest of this entry

Buchnevich has earned a spot on the Rangers’ top line

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Pavel Buchnevich, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad celebrate a goal in a preseason game against the Flyers. Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.

The three best forwards during the Rangers preseason all happened to play on the same line. Mika Zibanejad looks like everything Derick Brassard was plus more while Chris Kreider has been playing like a man on a mission, aggressively skating and looking to expand on two consecutive 20 goal seasons. But the biggest surprise has been rookie Pavel Buchnevich.

Buchnevich looks like a lock for the opening night lineup, marking an NHL debut for the 21 year-old after spending parts of the last four seasons in the KHL. Despite the culture shock that comes from moving to North America, as well as adapting to the smaller ice, Buchnevich has looked like a poised NHL veteran and looks ready to contribute with the Rangers.

While it was Harvard grad Jimmy Vesey that won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award for the best Rookie at training camp, Buch had to be a close second. It took him until the final preseason game to score his first goal, but he could have had a lot more than that. In terms of creating chances, Buchnevich may have been one of the best at creating chances for others, putting himself in good positions, and getting shots on goal. If it wasn’t for the extraordinary play of some of the goalies that he faced, there probably would have been a few more goals on his stat sheet. He did finish with a goal and two assists in four games.

Read the rest of this entry