Rangers v. Ducks
5 PM, Madison Square Garden
Rangers Record: 3 - 1 - 0
Ducks Record: 2 - 1 - 1
The Rangers were witness to the Marian Gaborik show in a 4-3 come from behind win in Washington on Thursday night, as the sniper accounted for two late third period goals.
The Ducks played in Philadelphia last night, winning in similar fashion with two third period goals to force overtime by Teemu Selanne. Selanne then sealed the victory with the lone shootout goal.
This evening the two teams meet at the Garden to see who can continue their momentum. Last season, the Rangers took both games from the Ducks, including a 4 - 2 victory at the Garden.
However, the Rangers will have their hands full as Anaheim sports one of the toughest top lines in the NHL. Ryan Getzlaf centers Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry, who are all point-per-game caliber forwards. Perry leads the team with five points in four games.
Yet, the Ducks' secondary line has been just as potent. Led by Selanne, newcomer Saku Koivu and Joffrey Lupul have established themselves as a legitimate scoring threat. Selanne is third on the team in points followed closely by his linemates.
With the offseason departure of defenseman Chris Pronger to Philadelphia, there were a lot of questions as to what the Ducks would do from the back end. Early on, the defense has contributed nearly as much as the offense.
James Wisniewski is second on the team in scoring with four points and a +4 rating. Former Pittsburgh Penguin Ryan Whitney has also contributed, equaling Wisniewski's totals. Veteran Scott Niedermeyer continues to produce as well.
The Rangers have seemingly hit their offensive stride as well, scoring four goals in Washington, three in New Jersey, and five in the home opener against Ottawa .
Head Coach John Tortorella will leave the top line of Vinny Prospal, Brandon Dubinsky, and Marian Gaborik in tact. However, with the return of winger Sean Avery tonight, the other lines may get jumbled.
In practice yesterday, Avery rotated into the fourth line with Donald Brashear and Brian Boyle. Aaron Voros may be the oddman out in that scenario
Another Ranger will also make his season debut tonight, Steve Valiquette. The backup goaltender started in 12 games last season and posted an overall record of 5 - 5 - 2 with a 2.84 G.A.A.
Game time is set for 5 PM.