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Game Day #41: Rangers @ Kings

These two teams last played hockey against each other on June 13, 2014.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers v Los Angeles Kings (Staples Center)

Time: 7:30 PM PST

TV: NHL Network, Fox Sports West, MSG

Enemy Reading: Blueshirt Banter

Lineups:

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik-Kopitar-King
Brown-Stoll-Williams
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
Clifford-Richards-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
Martinez-Greene
Schultz-McBain

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: McNabb, Andreoff, Nolan; Injured: Regehr; Suspended: Voynov

New York Rangers

Nash-Brassard-Zuccarello
Kreider-Stepan-St. Louis
Hagelin-Hayes-Fast
Miller-Moore-Stempniak

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Boyle
Moore-Klein

Talbot
(Lundqvist)

Scratched: Glass, Hunwick

Notes:

  • The Rangers don't have a single injury at the moment, but they are still a different team than the one LA beat in five games in last year's Stanley Cup Final. For one, advanced stats darling Anton Stralman and Really Really Big Man Brian Boyle signed with the excellent Tampa Bay Lightning. They were essentially replaced by Dan Boyle and Lee Stempniak.
  • Of course, New York also bought out Brad Richards, making them the only team to buy out their Richards, and leaving a not-insignificant hole in their offense. Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan have stepped up down the middle, but the real work has been done by Rick Nash, who has 39 points in 37 games. How many points did he have in his 65 games last year? 39.
  • Interestingly, it's Cam Talbot in net, as New York elected to go with Henrik Lundqvist against the Anaheim Ducks yesterday. Talbot has the better stats this season, but it's essentially a Quick vs. Jones (or Scrivens) situation from last year... A team might know the opponent's backup has better numbers, but they'd rather face him 10 out of 10 times.
  • The Kings are not treating this game any differently than a normal game (via LA Kings Insider). It's seven months removed from the Final and they won it, so I can understand why they shrug their shoulders. It's not revenge, it's not all that fresh, and it's not a rival. Having said that, it's still an opportunity to see how these teams match up after facing off at the game's pinnacle. New York's won eleven of twelve and the Kings have won the possession battle in ten of their last eleven... it's as good a time as any to see them play again.
  • PREDICTION: I watch these videos three more times before the game starts. Also, Kings win.