Game Thread

Game 76: The Return of The King and clinching a playoff spot

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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.

Ducks Systems

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.

Ducks Lines

Nick Ritchie-Ryan Getzlaf-Patrick Eaves
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Rickard Rakell-Antoine Vermette-Corey Perry
Chris Wagner-Nate Thompson-Jared Boll

Cam Fowler-Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson
Korbinian Holzer-Brandon Montour

PP1: Kesler-Getzlaf-Eaves-Fowler-Vatanen
PP2: Perry-Rackell-Silfverberg-Lindholm-Manson

Jonathan Bernier gets the start.

Rangers Lines

JT MillerMika ZibanejadRick Nash
Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJesper Fast
Pavel BuchnevichOscar LindbergJimmy Vesey

Ryan McDonaghKevin Klein
Marc StaalNick Holden
Brady SkjeiBrendan Smith

PP1: Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Vesey-Miller-McDonagh
PP2: Stepan-Hayes-Kreider-Zuccarello-Skjei

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches:  Dan Girardi (healthy),  Adam Clendening (healthy) Steven Kampfer (healthy), Matt Puempel (healthy), Brandon Pirri (healthy), Tanner Glass (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: A second straight shutout.

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  1. Has there been a rule change? How can the Rangers carry so many extra players on their roster?

    1. After trade deadline, roster size go out the window as long as the team remains cap compliant.

      Only restriction is call ups.

  2. And we are playing a playoff caliber team so that would make winning tonight even better….LETS GO RANGERS !!!

  3. Beauty pass by Marc Staal to spring Nash loose for the 2 on 1. Nash puts the disc through the 5 hole

    Rangers take the early lead.

  4. Would not be to bad to get a goal before end of this period…..AND THEY HEARD ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Man Holden really, really stinks. He’s the guy that needs to spend time in the press box. I’d play Klein & G over him any day.

    1. Klein is shot. Just shut him down now and rebuild him for next year.

      He has no power in his stride, skates like Hayes in his rookie year.

      1. Ya, tough to play with bad back for sure. What is Holden’s excuse, damaged frontal cortex?

        1. He’s thinking. Nothing good ever comes of that, but no practice time will make that happen.

    2. Holden trying to do to much out there…he needs to settled down. Zuc taking lots of cheap shots so far tonight..
      Someone needs to punch Kesler in the face.

        1. I cant even think about Dmac its too painful of a loss. It would be fitting if he started next season wearing a Cbj uniform.

  6. Horrible blind pass by zibanejad there on the pp. Rangers need to keep pressing Bernier looks shaky…as Skjei scores the equalizer.

      1. And this is the thing: You have a unique opportunity to prep for the playoffs and coach is thinking in half measures.


        I understand that cultural inertia is a hassle, but just go for it!! This isn’t thinking outside the box, this is exercise science 300.

        1. Reena, you want AV to be cognizant of exercise science & principles of physiology? He can probably hardly read & that is far too complex for his mind.

    1. Henk playing like Hardy Astrom tonight but in all fairness no commitment to team defence tonight

      Holden needs sometime in the pressbox and I am impressed with Grabners defensive zone coverage.

      1. Opps not impressed with Grabners defensive zone coverage. Av should dress Glass next game

    1. Cause you’re like most of the fans on this blog. You go by each game. If they beat the Sharks Tuesday you’ll be saying “they’re gonna win out the rest of their games”.

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