Rangers prepare for a desperate must-win game as the West Coast road trip continues

New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) warms up before the first period against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night, the New York Rangers took yet another loss to the Los Angeles Kings. It was expected to be a close matchup as both teams currently sit in playoff position, but the Blueshirts disappointed once again by putting only one goal on the scoresheet.

Tonight, the Rangers will take on the Anaheim Ducks less than 24 hours after their loss to LA. Many are considering this matchup to be a must-win game, as New York’s string of losses is rapidly diminishing their place in the standings.

The Rangers look to conquer Anaheim as their West Coast road trip continues

The Blueshirts’ yearly West Coast road trip has gotten off to a rough start this season, as they’ve taken back-to-back losses to the Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings. Tonight’s matchup should present itself as a winnable game, as the Anaheim Ducks are sitting far down at the bottom of the standings.

Trevor Zegras, the star center for the Ducks, remains out of their lineup with a broken ankle. This injury alone should heavily boost the Rangers’ chances of winning, but as they showed during their matchup against Vegas, they can still be defeated by a team riddled with injuries. The Blueshirts may be favorites to win on paper, but it’ll still take a full strong 60 minutes of play to make it become a reality.

Why tonight’s matchup is a must-win game for the Blueshirts

In their last ten games, the Rangers have gone just 3-6-1. They’re on a two-game losing streak, as their early-season success has entirely unraveled. The Rangers entered the 2024 calendar year as the number-one team in the NHL, but now, they have fallen to eighth, and their lead in the Metropolitan Division has diminished to just two points.

Tonight’s matchup is certainly a must-win game for the Blueshirts. Anaheim is the less skilled team, and factoring in Zegras’ injury, there is no excuse for anything but a dominant win in the third game of the West Coast road trip. The Rangers need to regain their momentum, and Anaheim presents itself as the perfect way to do so.

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