Rangers Gameday Preview: Colorado Avalanche – 10/25/22

The New York Rangers (3-2-1) will enter Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche (3-2-1) after back-to-back losses at home – a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 20 followed by a 5-1 defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 23. Jaroslav Halak received his second start and was not impressive, allowing five goals on 21 shots. The 37-year-old backup may get an opportunity to redeem himself on Oct. 26 against the New York Islanders given that the Rangers have another set of back-to-back games on the horizon. However, after a game off, Shesterkin should get the start against the defending Stanley Cup champions tonight.

Related: New York Rangers Sign Jaroslav Halak to 1-Year Deal

Valeri Nichushkin is off to a fantastic start for the Avalanche with 11 points (six goals and five assists) in the team’s first six games. He is tied with forward Alex Tuch in goals and tied for second in points with Leon Draisaitl and Sidney Crosby. Here’s our gameday preview.

New York Rangers Projected Lineup

Forwards

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Kaapo Kakko

Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafreniere

Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Vitali Kravtsov

Sammy Blais – Ryan Carpenter – Ryan Reaves

Defense

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba

Libor Hajek – Braden Schneider

Goaltenders

Shesterkin – Halak

Rangers Need More Offense

Filip Chytil exited the contest versus the Blue Jackets during the first period following an elbow from Cole Sillinger. Head coach Gerard Gallant commented on his status following the game: “He’s day-to-day. We’ll reassess him [on Monday] and see how he is. Big loss early in the game. I didn’t see [the hit] until I looked at the video after. I don’t think it was a vicious play. I don’t think he meant to hurt him, but he still got him with a shoulder in the head. I don’t think there was any intent at all,” (from ‘Rangers’ Filip Chytil leaves game with head injury,’ New York Post, 10/23/22). The update on his status: he will miss a minimum of four games.

Filip Chytil New York Rangers
Filip Chytil, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Panarin scored the lone goal for the Rangers against the Blue Jackets, giving him points in all six games this season, including three goals and three assists in the last three contests. The team needs more from their depth players like Kakko, Lafreniere, and Kravtsov to take the pressure off of their core players. While Kravtsov recently returned from an injury, Lafreniere and Kakko only have a combined three goals and two assists in six games, but they are expected to develop into key offensive contributors this season.

After his astounding 52-goal season last year, Kreider only has two goals, both scored in the 7-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 13. He was impossible for the opposition to contain last season, and if he gets on a hot streak, the Rangers will be even better offensively.

Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup

Forwards

Artturi Lehkonen – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen

Nichushkin – J.T. Compher – Martin Kaut

Andrew Cogliano – Alex Newhook – Evan Rodrigues

Dryden Hunt – Mikhail Maltsev – Logan O’Connor

Defense

Devon Toews – Cale Makar

Samuel Girard – Erik Johnson

Bowen Byrum – Josh Manson

Goaltenders

Alexandar Georgiev – Pavel Francouz

Avalanche Can Fill the Void Left by Landeskog

With captain Gabriel Landeskog out for up to 12 weeks following knee surgery, the Avalanche need one or more forwards to fill in for his absence. Head coach Jared Bednar spoke about the injury and commented on their core: “[Injuries are] part of the game. You got to go without him. If we’re going to be without him, hopefully, everything goes smooth with his rehab, and we were without him for 12 weeks there, give or take, and we’ll get him back for an important stretch run…We’ve got a strong core that can lead in our room, no question. They’re not even all wearing letters. (Defensemen Devon) Toews, (Cale) Makar – like go through the [roster]. (Josh) Manson. We got experienced guys in the back and upfront, obviously, too.”

Players To Watch

New York Rangers –  Vitali Kravtsov

With Chytil expected to miss time, there is an opening for Kravtsov to play consistently. He has not been very active this season after sustaining an injury during the first game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 11. He adds depth to the Rangers’ offense, so if this can build his confidence during this opportunity, it might force Gallant to leave him in.

Colorado Avalanche – Alexandar Georgiev

The former Rangers’ goaltender returns to Madison Square Garden looking for a strong start. Georgiev is playing well for the Avalanche with a 3-0-1 record, a 2.76 goals-against-average (GAA), and a .908 save percentage (SV%).

Tonight’s game has a 7:00 pm ET start time and will be broadcast on ESPN.

*Rangers lines from @vzmercogliano on Twitter. Avalanche lines from @Peter_Baugh on Twitter.



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