After a very impressive third period against the Vegas Golden Knights that saw them score four unanswered in the third period, the Rangers are traveling for Colorado to take on a wounded Avalanche team (9:00 P.M. ET, MSG2).

RangersNHL RankingsAvalanche
19thNHL Standing Rank15th

Previous Game

               The Rangers were tied with the Golden Knights as the two teams entered the third period. With fans nervous after some recent poor play, New York exploded for four goals and won the game 5-1. The Rangers got two goals from Mika Zibanejad and a goal each from Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere. Kaapo Kakko opened the scoring to end his drought.

               Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves to improve to 12-4-4. The only goal allowed by the Russian netminder was on a 5-3 power-play for the Golden Knights.

Rangers vs Avalanche

               The Rangers will now travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche. At the Rangers pregame skate, head coach Gerard Gallant told the media that he will stick with the same lineup. With that, Vitaly Kravtsov will be a healthy scratch once again for Gallant.

               In other Rangers’ news, Ryan Carpenter was placed on waivers and he cleared. Carpenter will play for the Hartford Wolf Pack. It appears New York prefer the speed of Jonny Brodzinski on the fourth line over Carpenter.

               Shesterkin will be back in goal for the Rangers. Shesterkin will be making his first start in Colorado in his NHL career. Shesterkin is 1-0-1 lifetime against the Avalanche.

               The Avalanche enter this game not as the same team the Blueshirts saw a week ago. While Colorado’s record might suggest they are having a Stanley Cup hangover, their record is most where it is at due to injuries. If Brad Hunt plays for the Avalanche tonight, Hunt will be the 35th different player the Avs will have used already this season. For comparison, Colorado used 39 players all of last year and the Blueshirts at just 24 players used this season.

               Currently injured Avalanche players include Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Bowen Byram, Artturi Lehkonen, Josh Manson, Evan Rodrigues, and Darren Helm. Yep, that is a boatload of injuries the Avalanche have to overcome. The Blueshirts will have a glorious opportunity to take care of business against an injured opposition and extend their win streak to three games. New York hasn’t won three-in-a-row since October 29th to November 1st when they defeated the Stars, Coyotes, and Flyers.

               The good news for Colorado is that Valeri Nichushkin is back after suffering an ankle injury. Nichushkin hasn’t played since October 25th and he was a key player prior to being injured. Nichushkin had twelve points in seven games, including seven goals.

               When the Rangers and Avalanche square off, the spotlight will always feature each team’s top defenseman. For the Blueshirts, Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy two seasons ago and he will take on Colorado’s Cale Makar who is the current Norris Trophy holder. Makar currently has 24 points in as many games but just three points in his last six games. On the other hand, Fox enters the game with 23 points in 28 games and a four-game point scoring streak (1G, 4A). The 24-year-old has eleven points in his last 10 games played.

               Alex Georgiev will make his second career start against the Blueshirts. Georgiev was traded by the Rangers to the Avalanche this past offseason and was victorious in a shootout against the Rangers earlier this season in Madison Square Garden. Georgiev currently holds a record of 11-5-1 with a .918 save percentage.

What to Watch For

               Can the newly formed top line consisting of Zibanejad, Kakko, and Lafreniere keep up their stellar play? Since being put together a little over four periods ago, the trio has been a menace for opposing team’s and they have created goals and a plethora of scoring chances. The Avalanche have a solid top four defensive core even with their injures and that top line will see a lot of Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, Devon Toews, and Erik Johnson.

Projected Lineup










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