Game Preview: Vegas Golden Knights @ New York Rangers 12/17

The Rangers hope to come away with a big win against the Golden Knights before a break in their schedule.

The New York Rangers‘ third and final game of the week as well as their last game until Wednesday comes Friday against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Rangers’ offense has gone back to struggling a bit lately, but it came to life on Wednesday in their game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Of course, the Coyotes are the worst team in the league and a win for the Rangers was expected, but the hope is that the offense will now get back to scoring at even-strength.

The Rangers’ next opponent, Vegas, will be much tougher competition than the Coyotes, of course. The Rangers are catching them in night two of a back-to-back, but a team like the Golden Knights are always scary.

They come into this game on a three-game winning streak and their offense this season has been fantastic. The Rangers, though, are one of the best teams in the league and have the advantage in several aspects.

Their offense at even-strength isn’t as good as Vegas’, but they have a superior defense, special teams, and goaltending. And the fact that the Golden Knights have struggled defensively means the Rangers have another opportunity to score goals and keep heating up offensively.

This will be especially important since superstar LW Artemiy Panarin might not play. The team’s top-scorer left the Arizona game with an injury and could sit on Friday, especially with the Rangers heading into a long break.

The Rangers have, notoriously, not played particularly well against the league’s top teams this season.

While the Golden Knights haven’t done as well as they have in recent seasons, they are a very talented and deep team that can hang with the best of the best. A Rangers victory on Friday would make a statement.

Expected goaltending matchup:

VGK: Laurent Brossoit

Last 5 games: 4-1-0, .919 SV%, 2.00 GAA
This season: 8 GP, 5-2-0, .911 SV%, 2.66 GAA, -0.2 GSAA

NYR: Alexandar Georgiev

Last 5 games: 3-2-0, .931 SV%, 2.00 GAA
This season: 12 GP, 5-3-1, .898 SV%, 2.98 GAA, -3.9 GSAA

Golden Knights players to watch:

LW Jonathan Marchessault

Last 5 games: 3 G, 5 PTS

RHD Alex Pietrangelo

Last 5 games: 1 G, 7 PTS

LW Max Pacioretty

Last 5 games: 6 G, 9 PTS
This season: 12 GP, 12 G, 19 PTS

RW Mark Stone

Last 5 games: 3 G, 6 PTS
This season: 17 GP, 4 G, 21 PTS

C Chandler Stephenson

Last 5 games: 8 A
This season: 28 GP, 9 G, 29 PTS

Rangers players to watch:

C Mika Zibanejad

Career vs. VGK: 6 GP, 5 G, 8 PTS

RHD Adam Fox

This season: 29 GP, 5 G, 31 PTS

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