With the first quarter of their four game road trip underway, and a victorious one if that, the New York Rangers will look to keep the good vibes alive as they take on the Edmonton Oilers (9:30, MSG) in the Rangers‘ first ever visit to Edmonton’s brand new state of the art arena, Rogers Arena.
The Rangers (11-4-0) are coming a 4-1 win in the opening game of their first major road trip of the year, topping the Calgary Flames. Alain Vigneault switched up the lines headed into the trip, and it paid immediate dividends on Saturday night, with each of the Rangers’ newly restructured lines contributing to the scoring sheet in the win. Notably, Michael Grabner opened the scoring with his team-high eighth of the season, while Pavel Buchnevich scored a goal for the fourth consecutive game.
Meanwhile, the Oilers (9-5-1) have cooled off since a torrid 7-1-0 start, but still lead the Pacific Division. Despite this, they fell to the Dallas Stars on Friday night in Alberta by a 3-2 final. Patrick Maroon and Tyler Pitlick had the goals for the Oilers, who have lost two in a row.
This will wrap up the season series between the Rangers and the Oilers this season. The Rangers took the first meeting at Madison Square Garden on November 3. The Rangers, facing off against former Henrik Lundqvist understudy Cam Talbot, came back from three separate Edmonton leads, with Jesper Fast tying it with his first goal of the season before Rick Nash won it minutes later. The two teams split their season set last season.
This will be the first game the Rangers play at Edmonton’s new stomping grounds. All-time, the Rangers were 16-14-3-1 at the old Oilers arena, the recently closed Rexall Place.
While Talbot (8-5-1, 2.53 GAA) is expected to get another start against his former team, Antti Raanta (3-0-0, 2.32 GAA) is expected to start the second half of the back-to-back, his first start after his controversial league-mandated removal from Tuesday’s game against Vancouver.
This will also be the third time this season the Rangers have played a back-t0-back over a weekend. They have swept the prior two instances, defeating Washington and Arizona on October 22-23 before taking down Boston and Winnipeg on November 5-6.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490