The New York Rangers are set to face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night in what will be the second time this season that the two teams meet. Columbus managed to get the upper hand on the Rangers in a 5-3 loss for the Blueshirts, and the Rangers will look to get revenge at home this time.
The Blue Jackets have had a rough start to the season. They are currently last in the Metropolitan Division while the Rangers are first, but the Blueshirts must be careful to not underestimate their opponent like last time.
The defense and goaltending step up for the Rangers once again
Per Vince Mercogliano, Louis Domingue and Jonathan Quick will likely be the two goaltenders suiting up for the Blueshirts tomorrow night. Igor Shetserkin appears to still need a few more days of recovery, setting the stage for either Domingue or Quick to be tested against Columbus. Head coach Peter Laviolette hasn’t confirmed who will get the start just yet, but it will likely be one of these two veterans.
With Shesterkin still out, the defense must step up their game to help Quick or Domingue. Both goalies have been stellar in what has been shown so far this season, but the Rangers’ last matchup against the Blue Jackets showed just how powerful Columbus’ offense can be.
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The Rangers’ second line continues to cook
Since joining the second line, Vincent Trochceck has been on an offensive tear. He has six points in his last three games and is making a case for a permanent spot in the top six even when Filip Chytil returns from injury.
Alexis Lafreniere is in the midst of a breakout season. His nine points in 13 games played are the best start to a season in his career, and his contributions on the ice have helped make this second line look elite.
Artemi Panarin has managed to score a point in every single game this season. He also leads New York in points in what appears to be the start of the best season of his career. If Panarin continues to cook like he has been all season, the Rangers should have a pretty solid chance of beating Columbus.
The Rangers continue their momentum and extend the point streak
The Blueshirts have not lost a game in regulation in close to a month. Their nine-game point streak is currently the longest in the NHL, and the red-hot Rangers have the chance to extend that streak to double digits tomorrow night.
With home-ice advantage and the momentum of a long stretch of elite play on their side, the Rangers should be able to take down the Blue Jackets (theoretically). The absence of Adam Fox, Chytil, and Shesterkin does pose a potential danger, but the Blueshirts have proved that they can win even without their stars. It will be a tough matchup, but the Rangers should possess the keys to making this victory come to life.