The Rangers are playing in the second leg of a back-to-back and they will host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers (7:00 P.M. EST, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsOilers
4thNHL Standing Rank15th

Previous Game

               Prior to the start of the game, the Rangers announced that Artemi Panarin was unavailable due to being placed in the COVID protocol alongside assistant coach Mike Kelly. Despite missing one of their top players, the Rangers played one of their best games in a statement win against the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Mika Zibanejad recorded two power-play goals in the first period while Ryan Strome added another. With a 3-0 lead entering the second period, Zibanejad got his third of the game to complete the eighth hat trick of his NHL career.

               “We showed it to ourselves that we can play with them,” said Zibanejad. The Blueshirts defeated the Lightning in back-to-back games including one of their best performances of the season on Sunday. In the second game, the Lightning got back starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, Erik Cernak, and even Anthony Cirelli. It wasn’t a 100% Tampa Bay team but it was very close to it.

               Igor Shesterkin stopped all 38 shots for his second shutout of the season. The 26-year-old made 18 shots in the first period to help the Rangers cause and not give the Lightning any life.


               The Blueshirts will need another performance like Sunday as they host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The last time these two teams met, McDavid scored arguably the goal of the season as he danced through four skaters and goaltender Alex Georgiev to tie the game later. Trying to keep McDavid in check is a lot easier said than done. The Rangers appear to be getting some reinforcements as Ryan Lindgren has been added to the active roster. While it is not a guarantee that he will play, it is becoming likely that Adam Fox’s defensive partner will be back in the lineup.

               With Shesterkin playing on Sunday afternoon, expect Georgiev to get the nod for the Rangers. After starting the majority of games in December due to the injury suffered by Shesterkin, Georgiev will make his first start since December 17th. This turned out to be the last game before the Christmas break which was a 3-2 shootout defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights.

               Zibanejad may be asked to lead the way on offense once again for the Rangers. With Panarin in the protocol, the Rangers will need players to step up with goal contributions in this one. The Oilers are just simply one of those teams that have the ability to score seven goals on any given day with their offensive firepower. Not getting a contribution from the top line against Edmonton would really hinder the chances of the Rangers extending their win streak to three.

After Monday night’s game, the Rangers will begin a long five-game road trip as they head out west. The road trip will start in Vegas, before heading to California to take on all three teams in the Golden State (Ducks, Kings, Sharks). The Rangers will then return to the east coast to take on the Flyers before returning home.

Edmonton Oilers

               The Oilers enter this game on a three-game losing skid. After suffering defeat to St. Louis, the Oilers suffered back-to-back overtime defeats to the Devils and Islanders. Edmonton will feel confident entering this game as they are on a five-game winning streak against the Rangers. The last time the Blueshirts defeated the Oilers was in March of 2018.

               If containing McDavid wasn’t a challenge by itself, Edmonton still has Leon Draisaitl who is having a terrific season. McDavid leads Draisaitl by one point for the team lead with 53. However, Draisaitl has 25 goals on the year as he leads the league in goal scoring.

               The Oilers could be short a few key players as Ryan Nugent Hopkins and goaltender Mike Smith are both currently day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. Zack Kassian, who has often served as a winger for McDavid, has been in the COVID protocol since late December and it is currently unclear if he will clear the protocol.

               Expect Mikko Koskinen to get the start in goal for the Oilers. Koskinen holds a 12-6-1 record with a .902 save percentage.

Key Factor of the Game

               Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. The Rangers can’t afford to take any dumb penalties against a team this dangerous on offense. Edmonton’s powerplay is operating at 30% over the course of the season as they lead the league. You just simply can’t take offensive zone penalties or be baited into a penalty against Edmonton. They will make you pay.

Projected Lineup









Join Our Newsletter


Leave a Reply