The New York Rangers recently had their 11-game point streak ended in a 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars. But the Blueshirts’ failure is in the past, as the Rangers look to get back in the win column tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Rangers remain atop the Metropolitan Division with a 12-13-1 record, while the Penguins sit fifth at 9-8-0. Although the Rangers appear to beat the Penguins skill-wise on paper, the Blueshirts will once again be on the road as they enter Pittsburgh for a tough divisional matchup.
The Rangers need to keep a hold of their momentum
Until their most recent matchup against the Stars, the Rangers had not lost in regulation since October 16th against the Nashville Predators. The Blueshirts have been arguably the hottest team in the NHL as of late, and have been producing points at an incredible rate.
It is essential that the Rangers do not linger on their most recent loss and keep their momentum tonight against the Penguins. There were certainly some valuable lessons to be learned in Dallas, but the Rangers need to stay hot and use their skills to handle Pittsburgh.
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Winning divisional matchups is key to the Rangers’ standings
So far this season, the Rangers have gone 3-1-0 in divisional matchups. The Blueshirts have beaten New Jersey, Carolina, and Columbus, but have also taken a regulation loss to the Blue Jackets in their earlier matchup this year.
While the Rangers do hold the top spot in the Metropolitan Division as of now, that could very well change if the Blueshirts do not keep winning these divisional matchups. The Penguins sit in fifth place but are only three points behind second. It’s key that the Rangers capitalize on this game tonight and boost their reputation as the top team in the Metro.
The Rangers’ second line needs to stay hot
The Rangers’ second line has easily been the best forward group this entire season. Whether it’s been Filip Chytil or Vincent Trocheck centering the line, they have been producing points like never before.
Artemi Panarin has scored in all but one matchup this season, with his historic point streak coming to an end in Dallas. His most recent game was rather unimpressive, and it’s crucial that Panarin bounces back along with the team tonight.
Trocheck has quietly been one of the best forwards on the Rangers recently. He’s riding a solid six-game point streak, during which he has recorded 11 total points. While he and Alexis Lafreniere are not the stars of the second line, their success is a major factor in bringing wins to the Rangers.