The three-game West Coast swing continues tonight with the second stop finding the Blueshirts in Anaheim to take on the Ducks.
This winds up four consecutive back-to-back sequences for the Rangers and they hope to improve upon their 10-4-0 record in the second game of back-to-back situations.
The game marks the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rangers beat the Ducks 4-1 in early February at The Garden behind the spectacular goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist will make the start in goal after missing the past eight games due to a hip issue.
Speaking of spectacular goaltending, Antii Raanta provided just that last night in Los Angeles as he led the Rangers to a 3-0 victory over the Kings. The Blueshirts were out-attempted, 70-41, when the shot attempts were all tallied up and that number is a pretty fair assessment of just how good Raanta had to be.
The Rangers need to be much better in their own end against the Ducks tonight.
With 91 points, Anaheim is playoff-bound having just one regulation loss in its last nine games and sit tied for the top spot in the Pacific Division with San Jose and Edmonton. The Ducks are a team that has a number of offensive weapons unlike last night’s opponent, the offensively-challenged Kings.
3 KEYS TO RANGERS-DUCKS
1. “D” Positioning
The Ducks will be as equally swarming and physical as the Kings were last night, but at the risk of repetition, they are a legitimate offensive team. The longer the Rangers are forced to play in their end, the more they need to position correctly and not chase when it comes to defending.
2. Timely Saves
Raanta provided it last night on numerous occasions and Lundqvist will be called upon tonight to repeat Raanta’s performance.
3. D-Zone Puck Management
One cannot underestimate how important it is to put pucks in the right spot at the right time in the d-zone. Turnovers against good teams in your own end will be the bane of any team’s existence. The Rangers are no different.
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