A Veteran’s Day matinee awaits the Rangers as Connor McDavid leads his Oilers into MSG for what is sure to be a high-flying affair.
Coming off a 4-2 win over Boston, the Blueshirts are riding a season-long five-game win-streak. And their confidence is growing.
In search of its’ sixth straight victory, Alain Vigneault’s squad must feel reasonably confident that it can tame the high-flying Oilers. After all, the Blueshirts have won three straight against Edmonton dating back to December 15, 2015.
Going back even further, the 7th Avenue Skaters have tallied at least a point in 10 of 14 games versus the visitors since the 2005-06 season. And at least a point in 11 of 14 games at MSG dating back to the 1996-97 season.
Meanwhile, the underachieving Oilers are coming off consecutive overtime victories against the Islanders and Devils. McDavid and partner-in-crime Leon Draisaitl, have teamed up to net the game-winning goals each time. (Draisaitl to McDavid Vs. Isles, and McDavid to Draisaitl Vs. Devils.)
For the Rangers to do the improbable — shutdown McDavid and Draisaitl — they’re going to need their big guns to continue to produce. Specifically, the KZB Line — Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich — must continue to outwork the opposition if the Blueshirts are to be victorious.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
The Rangers and Oilers are deeply intertwined. Both on and off the ice.
Blueshirts Team President Glen Sather served as the Oilers Head Coach, General Manager and Team President for various parts of the 1980s. He even suited up as a player for Edmonton when the club was part of the WHA.
David Desharnais played part of last season for the Oilers.
Cam Talbot was the Rangers backup netminder from 2013-2015.
Several Blueshirts carry points streaks into their game with Edmonton.
Rick Nash has points in five straight games versus the Oilers. (3G, 5A).
Mats Zuccarello has five points in his last five games against the Oilers. (2G, 3A).
Kevin Shattenkirk has points in his last six-games — three goals, six assists — dating back to the Rangers loss in Montreal on October 28th.
J.T. Miller has 12 points in his last 12 games (2G, 10A).
Ryan McDonagh is riding a three-game points-streak (5A).
Winning breeds consistency, and Alain Vigneault likes to keep his lineup intact after a win, or five.
Boo Nieves is back after missing the last three games with the flu. He is centering Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
OILERS: CONNOR MCDAVID. No surprise here. Edmonton’s captain tallied 100-points last season and looks well on his way to doing it again. The last time the Oilers had a player with his pedigree, his name was Wayne Gretzky.
RANGERS: PAVEL BUCHNEVICH. The Russian winger has points in three of his last five games (3G, 3A), and has looked more comfortable during his sophomore campaign. The key has been his health. If he remains in the lineup he is a good bet to reach the 20-goal marker.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG Network at 1pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
This should be a fast-paced game. With the talent level on both sides — and systems they use — this could become a track meet, and that’s good news for hockey fans.