Rangers Gameday Preview: Seattle Kraken – 11/17/22

Tonight’s contest is the beginning of a four-game West Coast trip for the New York Rangers (8-6-3). They were victorious on Nov. 13, 4-1, against the Arizona Coyotes thanks to key players, Adam Fox, who had the game-winning tally and one assist, and Igor Shesterkin, who turned in another exceptional start in goal.

Igor Shesterkin New York Rangers
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Their opponents, the Seattle Kraken (8-5-3), are off to a good start despite losing their starting goalie, Philipp Grubauer, to a lower-body injury. Martin Jones has filled in admirably in the meantime. Here’s our gameday preview.

New York Rangers Projected Lines

Forwards

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Jimmy Vesey

Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Barclay Goodrow

Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko

Sammy Blais –  Ryan Carpenter – Julien Gauthier

Defense

Ryan Lindgren – Fox

K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba

Libor Hajek – Braden Schneider

Goaltenders

Shesterkin – Jaroslav Halak

Rangers Seeking to Win Consecutive Games

The Rangers have an opportunity to build on their latest victory as they continue their West Coast trip. Trouba spoke about the benefit of bonding with teammates while on the road for several contests: “We get some time to spend with each other. In New York, we kind of live far from each other. We see each other at the rink, but it’s nice to get to dinners and go out to spend time. So everyone enjoys that. We’re excited to get the trip started.” 


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Shesterkin has turned in great performances in his last two starts on Nov. 10 versus the Detroit Red Wings, finishing with a .900 save percentage (SV%), and against the Coyotes, when he had a .969 SV%. The 2022 Vezina Trophy winner mentioned the benefit of facing plenty of shots from the opposition: “I like when I have a lot of shots, not like two or three shots in a period. When I face a lot of shots, I feel more confident.”

Vitali Kravtsov, who was unavailable for the last two contests, is recovering from a tooth infection, not a stomach virus. Whether he is in the lineup for this evening’s contest has yet to be determined, but he may return during one of the upcoming road games. 

Seattle Kraken Projected Lines

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz – Alexander Wennberg – Andre Burakovsky

Jared McCann – Matthew Beniers – Jordan Eberle

Brandon Tanev – Yanni Gourde – Oliver Bjorkstrand

Ryan Donato – Morgan Geekie – Karson Kuhlman

Defense

Vince Dunn – Adam Larsson

Carson Soucy – Justin Schultz

Gustav Olofsson – William Borgen

Goaltenders

Jones – Magnus Hellberg

Kraken Having Good Start to Year, Beniers Excelling

While more experienced players like Burakovsky, Eberle, Schwartz, and Tanev lead the Kraken in points, Beniers, the second-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, continues to progress in his sophomore campaign. Head coach Dave Hakstol mentioned that the young centerman’s confidence has helped in his development.

“He’s a young centerman in this league. His effort and his intentions are outstanding,” Hakstol said. “His confidence is a real strength. Playing up the middle, you have so many different responsibilities. With and without the puck, he’s got outstanding instincts. That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be different challenges when you’re on the ice consistently against the other teams’ top players, but he’s ready to handle that growth,” (from ‘Kraken’s Matty Beniers making ‘tremendous plays’ in first full season,’ The Seattle Times, 11/15/22).

Related: Kraken 3 Up, 3 Down: Jones, Tanev, Faceoffs, and More

Losing Grubauer on Oct. 21 against the Colorado Avalanche has not affected the Kraken as expected due to the play of Jones. The veteran netminder has a .909 SV%, a 2.38 goals-against average (GAA), and a 7-4-2 record in 13 games this season. Hakstol praised him for stepping up: “He’s just been rock solid for us. Obviously, with Grubi unavailable over the last couple of weeks here, it’s been a really important stretch for him. But most importantly, it’s just a continuation of Jonesy’s work from early on in training camp. His consistency has been good, and I’ve said it a couple of times, he brings a good calm presence.”

Players To Watch

New York Rangers – Igor Shesterkin

The Rangers’ goaltender has played well during his previous two starts and again proved his significance to their success. If Shesterkin can build on his recent play, they have an excellent chance of having a good road trip.

Seattle Kraken – Martin Jones

The Kraken have played well with Jones as their starting goalie for most of the season. His solid play gives them the benefit of having depth at the position once Grubauer returns from his injury.

Tonight’s game starts at 10 PM ET and will be broadcast on MSG.

*Rangers lines from @vzmercogliano on Twitter. Kraken lines from @GeoffBakerTIMES on Twitter.


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