After last night’s win in Los Angeles, the Rangers can clinch a playoff spot tonight in Anaheim. However the Pacific Division leading Ducks are no pushover. They have a deep blue line and a pretty solid top nine. However their fourth line leaves a lot to be desired, and their top pair of Fowler/Vatanen is a wee bit overrated.
As for the Rangers, The King returns tonight. Antti Raanta was phenomenal in the starting role while Hank was out, but this is Hank’s team. Hank was playing very well before his injury, and it’s expected that he will be able to repeat that performance as he gears up for a playoff run. The Rangers will need him to catch fire for them to have a chance of playoff success.
Randy Carlyle is the new guy in Anaheim, He has the Ducks rotating between an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck and a passive 1-2-2. However, they mix in a 2-1-2 forecheck on occasion depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, expect a collapsing box, which will leave the point men open for opportunities. Their powerplay (umbrella) is fairly standard. On the kill, there will be a rotation of PK strategies depending on opposition setup.
Nick Ritchie-Ryan Getzlaf-Patrick Eaves
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Rickard Rakell-Antoine Vermette-Corey Perry
Chris Wagner-Nate Thompson-Jared Boll
Jonathan Bernier gets the start.
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: A second straight shutout.
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