This is the second matchup between the Ducks and the Rangers this season. Thursday will be the first matchup that will be on this continent.
The Ducks beat the Rangers in Stockholm in early October in each team’s second game of their respective seasons. It was a close game that ended with the Ducks winning in a shoot out. Bobby Ryan was the hero in that one as he slipped one by Lundqvist in the shoot out. Since then, the Rangers have gone 4-3-1 and are in third place in the Atlantic Division and in tenth in the Eastern Conference. However, they are coming off of their best performance of the season after a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Rangers got contributions from a lot of different players in that game, captain Ryan Callahan scored twice and Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan both scored their first goals of the season.
The Rangers have two main offensive weapons in Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. But, can get contributions from other players as well like in the San Jose game. Besides Callahan, Anisimov and Stepan, players like Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Dubinsky can put up some points. Then, back on the blue line, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto have all had very good seasons so far. Yet none of their defenseman are big penalty takers. Dubinsky, Brandon Prust and Brian Boyle are all forwards that are scrappy agitators. And I really don’t have to talk about their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist. He is the best goalie in the world.
Players to Watch:
- NYR – F – Ryan Callahan: The first year captain has played very well lately, including the two goal game against the San Jose Sharks.
- NYR – F – Brandon Dubinsky: Big body that can be a physical agitator but can play well offensively. He also has been known to drop the gloves every now and then.
- ANA – F – Teemu Selanne: What can’t this guy do? He is absolutely red hot right now after a 4 point night in Washington. With the way the offense has performed this season, the Ducks could use more 4 point games from him.
- ANA – G – Jonas Hiller: Who is this guy? He’s been so up and down this season and in Washington he was very shaky. On some saves he didn’t look very confident or sharp and he allowed some very bad goals that helped let Washington back into the game and eventually to win the game.
Sean Avery will be watching from the press box tonight. I would rather have him in Europe and away from the entire National Hockey League. Can’t always get what you want though, so I’ll have to deal with him being back. The Ducks are looking to bounce back from that tough loss in Washington and their facing a team that wants to get revenge for the loss in Stockholm. I would think this should be a pretty good, exciting game in the newly renovated Garden. But, the way this season has been going, who the hell knows!!!
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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Artem Anisimov Bobby Ryan Brad Richards Brandon Dubinsky Brandon Prust Brian Boyle Dan Girardi Derek Stepan Henrik Lundqvist Jonas Hiller Marian Gaborik Michael Del Zotto New York Rangers Ryan Callahan Ryan McDonagh Sean Avery Teemu Selanne