NHL Game of the Week: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
The resurging New York Rangers will take on the first-place Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19 in this week’s NHL Game of the Week.
New York Rangers (25-13-7, 3rd in Metro)
New York had a rough start to the season but found momentum, especially after a few line changes. Artemi Panarin has emerged as a leader on the team along with Vincent Trochek and Jimmy Vesey, who just signed a two-year contract extension after only being signed in training camp.
The “Kreibanejad” and Kaapo Kakko first line has produced greatly for the team, with the seasoned Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad helping a younger Kakko find his place on the team.
Though Igor Shesterkin is the starting goalie, Jaroslav Halak looked great in his last start in Columbus. The Rangers need to rely on the All-Star Shesterkin first, but not be afraid to continue to use Halak in games the organization considers an “easy win.”
The Rangers have struggled a bit in overtime and shootout situations, which, if both teams play to caliber, means they’ll have to be ready to play out of regulation on Thursday.
The Rangers will also take a hit without Kreider, who is out with an upper-body injury from the shootout in Minnesota. Alexis Lafreniere has been moved up to the first line alongside Zibanejad and Kakko.
Boston (34-5-4, 1st in Atlantic)
Boston is the team to beat this year in the league, with their last loss being to the very talented Seattle Kraken last week.
Linus Ullmark has completely dominated the goaltender category, leading the league in goals against average, save percentage and wins. It’s very likely that Ullmark will walk away with the Vezina at the end of the season.
David Pastrnak has continued to have a stellar season and is up on the league leaderboard in points and goals. Last week’s First Star also leads the squad in points, goals and assists.
Pavel Zacha was a huge addition to Boston after being traded from the New Jersey Devils.
The first two lines (Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Craig Smith and Zacha-Krejci-Pastrnak) have been on fire all year and have been key players in Boston’s strong season.
It’ll be a battle of stars at the Garden with Pastrnak, Marchand, Zacha, Ullmark and Boston going up against Zibanejad, Panarin, Shesterkin and the Broadway Blueshirts on home ice.
The Rangers need to prove themselves and continue playing actual hockey. It’s nice to know that the Blueshirts have mastered passing to each other in a circle, but shooting the puck into the net without losing possession would be nice every once in a while. As long as the Bruins continue to play hard, they have a good chance of victory, but you can’t count New York out.
Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact her, please email email@example.com.
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