Game 42: Viva Las Rangers

January 7, 2018, by

shattenkirk vegas rangers

The Rangers, fresh off their “win” in Arizona, travel to Vegas for the first time in franchise history to take on the surprising Golden Knights. The Knights are tops in the Pacific Division right now, and are second in the league in goals with 141. They also have just two regulation losses at home. Simply put, that is very impressive for an expansion team.

The Knights biggest weakness is on the blue line. They have allowed 112 goals so far (2.8 per game), and are exploitable. Teams with deep scoring have given them trouble, as showcased by the Rangers the last time these two teams met. Vegas can seemingly score at will, but match them, and it becomes a question about which team will get the timely save. That’s a battle Henrik Lundqvist rarely loses.

Vegas Systems

Gerard Gallant is the man in Vegas. I haven’t watched them closely yet, but while in Florida, Gallant ran a 1-2-2 forecheck, which was used aggressively or conservatively pending the game situation (e.g., the score, puck location, etc.). In the defensive zone, he ran a straight up zone defense. For special teams, ran a standard umbrella power play and diamond force/box penalty kill system.

I’d expect this to be the same for Vegas.

Vegas Lines

David Perron-Eric Haula-James Neal
Reilly Smith–William Karlsson-Jonathan Marchessault
Brandon Leipsic-Cody Eakin-Alex Tuch
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Tomas Nosek

Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Deryk Engelland-Shea Theodore
Colin Miller-Brad Hunt

PP1: Neal-Haula-Perron-Miller-Theodore
PP2: Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith-Tuch-Schmidt

Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start.

Rangers Lines

JT MillerMika ZibanejadJesper Fast
Paul CareyKevin HayesMats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey–David Desharnais–Rick Nash
Michael GrabnerBoo NievesVinny Lettieri

Ryan McDonagh–Nick Holden
Brady Skjei–Kevin Shattenkirk
Marc Staal-Steven Kampfer

PP1: Nash-Zuccarello-Not Buchnevich-Zibanejad-Shattenkirk
PP2: Vesey-Miller-Desharnais-Skjei-McDonagh

Ondrej Pavelec gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (blood clot), Brendan Smith (healthy), Pavel Buchnevich (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Buch and Smith beat AV to death with hockey sticks.

Game time is 10pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Lace says:

    I don’t wanna jinx it or the Rangers but if they win tonight then I called these last 3 games exactly right on Jan 3.

    I think they’ll win 6-3 tonight. The Rangers are a veteran version of the Knights and will give their back end trouble. 🙏 I hope.

  2. Richter1994 says:

    One of the teams will win the game, book it.

    • Chuck A says:

      Richter: a ramblin’ gambling man!

    • orangemike says:

      Six goals. Sure. If the Rangers score six goals in the next month I’ll buy you lunch. Luckily this pathetic effort wasn’t on TV here in Rochester, so I was forced to watch the Bruins and the Penguins, and I noticed something very very strange. There are teams in the NHL which actually do hockey things, like, you know, shoot the puck every once in a while. Oh, and some defenders make passes that are actually directed at members of their own team.

      I am not really sure how this team is still in the playoff race. If not having Chris Kreider is having this much of an effect, he is severely underpaid. As opposed to, say, the two or three overpaid losers in the offensive half of the locker room. I could name them, but I’m actually in a good mood this morning, since I don’t have to listen to Bills fans anymore until July.

      Maybe the rest this week will do them some good, and they find some offensive spark. Let’s hope so; otherwise these last 40 games will be unendingly frustrating. Does every single game have to be a 4-hr shootout? Man.

      Regards- orange

      • Richter1994 says:

        Hey orange, can we start with out shooting the opponent for one game? lol

        Happy New Year my friend.

  3. Bloomer says:

    Nice to see Zuc back in the lineup, he quarterbacks a lot of the Rangers offense. I like Lettieri game, he is fast on the puck, has a quick release and a hard shot.

    Vegas is a tough team to play. They close fast and take away time and space. To counter the Rangers need to be skating hard and supporting the puck. New Yorks passing during the last outing was brutal. They are capable of much better.

    I am expecting a much better effort from the Rangers this game. Anything short of that will result in a Ranger drumming by Vegas.

  4. Stevem says:

    Isn’t it a 9:30 start? And I believe Pavelec is starting

  5. Hockey Sittoo says:

    Pavelec in net. Looking for another excellent outing from him. Otherwise it’s gonna be a long night…

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      I think he shoulda played last nite and you play Hank tonite

  6. roadrider says:

    Just heard – Kampfer in. Buch out. I predict many angry commenters.

  7. HOF19 says:

    WIN……No matter who is in the lineup…….Just Win !……..LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  8. Dave says:

    This post has been updated to reflect the lineup changes. As has the crazy prediction.

    • roadrider says:

      Buch and Smith beat AV to death with hockey sticks

      As per usual, Smith’s stick would break before he could do any damage.

    • Stan C. Fats says:

      Wish-fulfillment fantasy on your part, Dave, lol

    • Bloomer says:

      Kampfer for Smith now that makes sense. Even better if we wake up tommorow and find out Smith has been traded.

  9. Stan C. Fats says:

    Buchnevich’s shootout attempt was so bad, yesterday, he had to sit out a game.


  10. HOF19 says:

    Mika !!!!!!!!!

  11. HOF19 says:


  12. HOF19 says:

    I have posted this so many times…..But it is time to post it again…..Win the third period and we win this game…….LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  13. HOF19 says:

    OK How about we start this period with a PP GOAL !

    • Bloomer says:

      Rangers gave up (4)2 on 1s in the second. While they played better in the 3rd it was overall another sloppy effort. The Pp has disappeared and very poor coverage on Vegas 2nd goal. Not to be a downer HOF19 but the Rangers are in a funk. Perhaps the week off will help them find their game.

      • Stevem says:

        The VGK winner was just terrible coverage, we had 4 guys on the left side and no one picked up Karlsson.. Pavs was good again and deserved better.. hopefully the bye week does help, big game right off the hop against the Fishsticks

        • Leatherneck says:

          That was due to an awful line change….Dibs to Zibby on that one….I was at the game….saw it clearly….Zibby should have not changed at that moment

          Fellas Kampfer was again the best D-man out there….I was paying attention to the D a lot….

          Awful turnover by McD on the 1st goal

          Powerplay sucks because they don’t shoot…they have pass 1st mentality…..

  14. Odielishous says:

    I actually thought it was a good game. A full 60 minute effort.

    1st period.
    Came out strong first shift and dominated the knights in there end. It sent a message they we’re here tonight. Came out even at the end as I thought it would. Withstanding the loss of Hayes 10 minutes into the game could see the future coming. But overall solid 20 minutes with 2 snipes for the only 2 goals. 11 to 10 edge in shots by rangers. Nash line looked sharp and ready to play.

    2nd period.
    Long change played a key factor in most of the 2 on 1’s. Was a brutal period inconsistent lines and line changes. AV did his best, the rangers couldn’t get off in time and made a ton of sloppy line changes. For the most part I stopped watching. Now I don’t think that the rangers were not trying i just think the long change and double shifts was to much for the team to handle. But to be expected when fielding a 2 natural center team. Coming out still tied is a win in my opinion. Considering they got dominated 6 -14 in shots. Pav’s came up big.

    3rd Period.
    Played well not great. Started it off with a power play 30 seconds into the period and had some solid chances. Boo Nieves cost them the game. Karlsonn was his pick up on that rush. He just didn’t get the read. Instead he double teamed the guy with the puck. True rookie mistake. But to hold a team in their end for the last 2:00 with a empty net and actually get some high scoring chances against a highly skilled team…. I was certainly impressed. Watching it …I was just waiting for the stupid back pass to someone on vegas and then they score but it never happened!

    Look I maybe the only person on here to realize they are fielding a team of rookies. And for one thing I am happy they were competitive tonight. Look Boo has a lot to learn. But I like the energy he brings every shift. Him, Carey, Lettieri every night , every shift it is effort. That is a whole line worth of rookies. Now you throw out Vesey and Buch, with just 2 years under their own belts and this being their second years….not bad at all.
    You have alot going on…Nash I am sure is distracted(trade bait), Zib is still feeling shakey, Krieder is losing a rib and seriously has a chance to die, Stepan just came by and got everyone trashed, Buch got demoted cause he can’t play defense, SHATtenkirk is learning to play defense for the first time, Smith is too fat and out of shape to compete in the NHL anymore, and JT Miller is trying to figure what position he can’t play for this team. (Honestly wouldn’t be shocked if I see him playing next to Mac in the future.)

    But yet you lost 2-1 on a stupid rookie mistake and hemmed the number 2 team in points in the league in their zone for the final 2 minutes. Good game Rangers…I really liked the effort. Will go unnoticed by most but I liked it.

  15. CTfan says:

    The Rangers are becoming unwatchable. Seeing the gum chewing moron trying to show what a genius he is by changing line combinations every other shift. If it wasn’t for Hank (and Pavelec last night) bailing him out game after game, he would have been long gone. His benching players like Buch, while acting like Desharnais is Sidney Crosby, is really working well. Vancouver dumped him for good reason. Watching Gallant have his forwards press the point men while AV has his sitting on the dots watching the other team controls the puck is sickening. And, making sure they have to get in as many passes possible before taking a shot. Dump him.

  16. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    It’s a pretty simple game … Vegas just skates and presses , Rangers don’t bring the effort a full 60 . The non-chalant efforts get old . Skate hard on the guy , make him move the puck or do something quick and good things happen. At least there was a better overall game vs the Arizona game .