For the first time in a week, the Rangers play someone who isn’t the Islanders. This is another tough test, as the Blue Jackets are finally starting to get healthy. The Blue Jackets have a good defensive process, which as they get healthier will only improve. They do struggle to score goals, which is going to haunt them if they can’t rectify it.
For the Rangers, this plays to their strengths. We’ve seen them break through against good defensive teams, specifically the last two games against the Isles, but it’s teams that also score at will that seem to give the Rangers trouble. The Blueshirts have been mildly better defensively, so this could be a good litmus test for how they’ve progressed since the start of the season.
Blue Jackets Lines
Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov-David Savard
Scott Harrington-Markus Nutivaara
Elvis Merzlikins gets the start.
Rangers Lines (best guess)
PK Forwards: Fast, Kreider, Strome, Howden, Lemieux, McKegg
PK Defense: Skjei, Trouba, Staal, Smith, Lindgren
Igor Shesterkin gets the start.
Scratches: Phil Di Giuseppe (healthy), Alex Georgiev (healthy)
Crazy Prediction: Di Giuseppe actually plays since his recall.
Game time is 7pm.