New York Rangers Gameday Preview: Blackhawks – 12/3/22

This evening’s contest between the New York Rangers (11-9-5) and the Chicago Blackhawks (6-12-4) is a matchup of two struggling clubs. The Rangers suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators as they reverted back to the routine of giving up leads — they allowed their opponent to tie the game with less than a minute remaining during regulation before losing in overtime.

Mika Zibanejad New York Rangers
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Frustration is mounting in the locker room and they need to improve their team defense and limit turnovers in their own zone. The Blackhawks are on an eight-game losing streak. Here’s our gameday preview.

New York Rangers Projected Lines

Forwards

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Jimmy Vesey

Artemi Panarin – Filip Chytil – Vitali Kravtsov

Alexis Lafreniere – Vincent Trocheck – Kaapo Kakko

Sammy Blais – Barclay Goodrow – Julien Gauthier

Defense

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller – Braden Schneider

Libor Hajek – Jacob Trouba

Goaltenders

Jaroslav Halak – Igor Shesterkin

Rangers Surrender Another Lead With Overtime Loss to the Senators

The Rangers’ inconsistent play continued in the second contest of a home-and-home on Dec. 2 vs. the Senators. With a 2-1 lead in the third period, Brady Tkachuk tied the game with less than one minute remaining in regulation followed by netting the game-winning tally in overtime.

Head coach Gerard Gallant commented on his team’s play following the defeat, “Wasn’t good enough. We had two chances in overtime, but we didn’t play well enough to even be there to be honest with you.” (from ‘Rangers blow another late lead in crushing overtime loss to Senators,’ New York Post, 12/2/22)

Lindgren expressed his frustration and disappointment after the contest, “Very disappointing. Had a lead there late in the third and our goalie was playing unbelievable. We were just giving them too many chances and they were bound to finally get one. We’ve said it before, we’ve got to tighten up.” 

Kravtsov, who scored his first goal of the season, commented following the loss, “I didn’t really think about the goal, just because we lost and that was a huge bummer. Goals, they come and go, but the goal was to win, and we didn’t do that. I’m not very happy with the way I played, obviously with the result. I feel like everybody could probably say the same. We had a goal to win. You can’t really be proud of your game when you didn’t post the result you wanted.” (from ‘Rangers’ Vitali Kravtsov scores first goal after promotion,’ New York Post, 12/3/22)

Chicago Blackhawks Projected Lines

Forwards

Andreas Athanasiou – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane

Philipp Kurashev – Max Domi – Taylor Raddysh

Jujhar Khaira – Jason Dickinson – Colin Blackwell

Boris Katchouk – MacKenzie Entwistle – Reese Johnson

Defense

Jack Johnson – Seth Jones

Filip Roos – Connor Murphy

Jake McCabe – Caleb Jones

Goaltenders

Arvid Soderblom – Petr Mrazek

Blackhawks Seeking to Snap Eight-Game Winless Streak

The Blackhawks, whose last victory came on Nov. 12 against the Anaheim Ducks, are looking to break their eight-game losing streak tonight vs. the Rangers. Before the Nov. 30 game against the Edmonton Oilers, first-year head coach Luke Richardson reunited Toews and Kane on the top line seeking to provide a spark for the club.

The coach commented on his motivation for putting the veteran forwards on the same line during the Nov. 29 practice, “It’s been done before but I haven’t done it, so let’s try it. I think that makes the most sense. I saw a lot of speed out of both those lines. Let’s see what they’re going to bring in a game. I mentioned to all the guys this morning and they’re all good with it. I think they realize there has to be some shuffling and changes just to change things up. Let’s rock the boat and get things going in the right direction.” 

Related: Blackhawks Roundtable: Kane, Toews, Adjustments & Predictions

The Blackhawks have struggled offensively in 22 games played as they average 2.55 goals for per game played, which ranks 30th in the league. Kane, one of the top players in franchise history, only has three goals in 22 games but leads them with 14 assists. Domi is a forward that has benefited from Kane’s presence in his first season with the club as his seven goals rank second on the team. The Rangers have struggled with maintaining leads and players such as Kane and Toews are capable of capitalizing on their sloppy defensive play.

Players To Watch

New York Rangers – Mika Zibanejad

Zibanejad has been the Rangers’ most consistent offensive forward with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 25 games played. He can take over a game for the club and is one of the core players who need to be instrumental in getting them back to winning games regularly.

Chicago Blackhawks – Max Domi

Domi has adjusted well with the Blackhawks and has been one of their most consistent producers in both goals and assists as he ranks second on the club in both categories. He is one of the forwards the Rangers need to account for during tonight’s matchup. 

Tonight’s game has a 7:30 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on MSG.

*Rangers lines from @MollieeWalkerr on Twitter. Blackhawks lines from @BenPopeCST on Twitter.


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