Date: Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
Time: 4:00 PT / 7:00 ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG, Prime
After a thrilling comeback win last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Anaheim Ducks make their way down to the Big Apple for a battle against the New York Rangers. With only 24 hours between games, the Ducks veterans will put their conditioning to the test. Luckily the magic of Madison Square Garden (phrase submitted for trademark by yours truly) will keep them going through the night. Besides, if they can’t keep up they won’t earn a good bagel and lox the next morning.
The Ducks will look to increase their road winning streak to seven games against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. Luckily the Rangers aren’t as great this year and seem to be rebuilding on the fly. Their fourth line is so scary that they have a player named Boo on it. The Rangers have a record of 14-13-5 over a quarter of the way through the season. Although they are a dismal 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, their one saving grace is that they have a 10-4-3 record at home. That MSG magic must be for real. The one stat that stands out is both teams’ goals for. Although the Rangers have played in three less games this season, they have 94 goals scored. Anaheim has one less for 93 yet has 10 more points in the standings. Playing in the Eastern Conference must be a thrill.
It’s hard to list anyone here besides Ondrej Kase. For this tilt let’s go with everyone on Kase’s line. Ryan Getzlaf and Pontus have one main job: get the puck to Kase as often as possible. Getzlaf—you have a wide-open shot? Nope, not anymore. Pass it to Kase. Aberg—you want to make Peter Chiarelli feel even worse for letting you go on waivers by scoring goals against an Original 6 team? Nope, not tonight. Pass it to Ondrej the Giant Kase and pick up some assists.
Since returning to the Anaheim lineup, Kase has nine goals in 17 games. To make that even more impressive, the Czech has six goals in his last six games. Getting appropriate ice time and playing with the Captain must be nice. It only took a few years, but Randy Carlyle has finally learned how to utilize Kase correctly. The team clearly missed Kase’s offensive tenacity earlier this year and has gone 12-3-2 since he came back into the lineup.
New York Rangers
Henrik Lundvist supposedly has the night off which means Alexandar Georgiev will be in net for the Rangers. The Bulgarian goalie doesn’t have the good numbers that his veteran teammate boasts, coming in at .899 sv% and a 3.37 GAA. He has started seven games and has a total of four wins. Not the best, but there are still worse goalies. New coach David Quinn clearly doubts Anaheim’s offensive powers if he’s throwing his backup into the crease. Noted Duck all-star Ondrej Kase will not take kindly to this. Look for the Anaheim top line to spend ample time in the Rangers’ end. Will Georgiev be able to steal a game for his team’s home fans? Tune in at 4pm PT to find out.