The offensive onslaught the New York Rangers (7-6-3) had during the third period of their 8-2 win versus the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 10 now seems to be an aberration, as the Nashville Predators held them to one goal in a 2-1 loss on Nov. 12. Until they get on a winning streak and score a fair amount of goals consistently, they will remain the definition of unpredictability as they have been through their first 16 games of the 2022-23 season.
The Arizona Coyotes (6-7-1) have been hit and miss themselves through their first 14 games this season but so has the Central Division as they are only four points behind the top three clubs tied for first place – the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, and Dallas Stars. The Rangers defeated their adversaries previously on Oct. 30, 3-2, as Artemi Panarin led them to a win with one goal and two assists. Here’s our gameday preview.
New York Rangers Projected Lines
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Jimmy Vesey
Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Vitali Kravtsov/Julien Gauthier
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Sammy Blais – Barclay Goodrow – Gauthier/Ryan Reaves
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Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Libor Hajek – Braden Schneider
Igor Shesterkin – Jaroslav Halak
Rangers’ Offensive Struggles Continue Against the Predators
Predators goalie Juuse Saros stymied the Rangers’ offense as he stopped 34 of their 35 shots on goal and contributed to his opponent going 0-for-5 on the power play (PP). Trouba, who tallied a team-high six shots on goal (SOG) in the loss, mentioned how frustrating it was for his club to generate scoring chances but not be successful at scoring goals, “We got our chances. I think the goalie played well. It’s one of those, it’s frustrating. All we can do is keep playing and keep generating shots, keep generating chances and hoping things turn for us here” (from ‘Rangers miss too many chances as offense goes quiet in loss to Predators,’ New York Post, 11/12/22).
The Rangers are generating opportunities but are not finishing them based on how many goals they have scored in each of the six games played so far during November. They have only scored more than two goals in two of their contests this month – they tallied three goals in a loss to the New York Islanders on Nov. 8 in addition to the eight tallied versus the Red Wings.
Related: Rangers’ Panarin Line off to Strong Start
Two issues are that Kreider is unlikely to come close to matching his career-high 52 goals that he scored during the regular season last year and is more in line to match his previous high in goals (28) by the end of 2022-23. Another concern is the loss of Ryan Strome last offseason and the signing of Trocheck. He and Panarin are still getting accustomed to playing with one another, while the club did not have that concern last season as the duo of Panarin and Strome were familiar with playing on the same line.
Arizona Coyotes Projected Lines
Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayton – Dylan Guenther
Matias Maccelli – Nick Bjugstad – Lawson Crouse
Nick Ritchie – Jack McBain – Christian Fischer
Liam O’Brien – Travis Boyd – Laurent Dauphin
Juuso Valimaki – J.J. Moser
Shayne Gostisbehere – Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth – Troy Stecher
Connor Ingram – Karel Vejmelka
Coyotes Unable To Halt Devils’ Winning Streak, Have NHL’s Third-Best Power-Play
During their first of back-to-back games this weekend in the Northeast, the Coyotes battled with the surprisingly elite New Jersey Devils but fell short in a 4-2 loss on Nov. 12. They scored both of their goals on the man advantage and were shut down at even strength by the team leading the Metropolitan Division that has won nine straight contests.
The Coyotes rank third in the league with a 31.3% power-play percentage and are benefiting from having balance throughout their roster in terms of power-play points (PPP). Maccelli leads with seven, Keller and Moser have six, Gostisbehere, Ritchie, and Guenther are tied with five, and Boyd and Valimaki have four. The Rangers rank 10th with an 81.3% penalty-killing percentage (PK%) and need to shut down their opponents’ top PP unit tonight to increase their chances of securing a victory in front of their home crowd.
Players To Watch
New York Rangers – Jacob Trouba
While the Rangers’ captain is not known for his offense, he can make an impact with his leadership and physicality in order to help them notch a win tonight. They need to work on breaking their cycle of inconsistent play and effective guidance by him can help motivate the club in getting back to succeeding regularly.
Arizona Coyotes – Clayton Keller
The Coyotes’ exciting, young forward leads them with 16 points (five goals and 11 assists) in 14 games played this season. Given his significance to the offense on the PP and at even strength, he gives them their best chance to win if he plays well.
Tonight’s game has a 7:00 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on MSG.
*Rangers lines from @vzmercogliano on Twitter. Coyotes lines from @CraigSMorgan on Twitter.