The Rangers are in Columbus tonight to kick off a pretty rough stretch for them. They play four of the next five on the road, including another three-in-four starting tonight. The Blue Jackets have good process and decent possession/expected-goals numbers, but really lack high-end skill and goaltending to make it work. Yes, skill and goaltending still matter.
The Rangers have better skill and goaltending, but the process is still a mess. They’ve been better lately, and a lot has to do with Filip Chytil’s emergence and Mika Zibanejad’s return. They’ve been getting 47% of the expected goals share since Chytil was recalled, which is much better than the 40% prior.
Blue Jackets Lines
Dean Kukan-Seth Jones
Ryan Murray-David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov-Andrew Peeke
Joonas Korpisalo gets the start.
Rangers Lines (best guess)
PK Forwards: Fast, Kreider, Strome, Howden, Lemieux
PK Defense: Skjei, Trouba, Staal Smith
Alex Georgiev gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: Hank finally gets a shutout.
Game time is 7pm.