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Rangers face Sharks at home, starting stretch of 10 games in 17 days

December 3, 2021, 2:10 PM ET [137 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers begin a stretch of 10 games in 17 days tonight at home against the Sharks. New York will be back at it again tomorrow night - where I hope to be in attendance - when they face Chicago. The plan is for Igor Shesterkin to play one game and Alexandar Georgiev the other with the likelihood that the order will be exactly as listed in this sentence, Igor first and Georgiev second. 

Following those 10 games in 17 days, New York has a lighter schedule. After the December 17 contest versus Vegas, New York is off for four days prior to taking on Montreal on December 22. The holiday break then takes effect with the Rangers on break again for four more days and face Detroit on December 26. The last week of the year, the Blueshirts take on Detroit, Florida and Tampa, the latter two on the road. Then, after being off New Year's Day, New York plays Tampa and Edmonton at home on back-to-back days starting January 2.

Tonight's lineup should be the same as Wednesday. Dryden Hunt received no additional discipline following his penalty and game misconduct Wednesday and he will look to build on what he has shown next to Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin. Barclay Goodrow appeared to avoid serious injury when a shot deflected off his stick broke his shield, resulting in a handful of stitches. Morgan Barron was promoted yesterday and is available if needed.

One key for tonight is to pressure the San Jose defense and make life difficult on James Reimer, who is having an excellent season. Erik Karlsson has been much better this year while Mario Ferraro has taken a step forward and Brent Burns more like his old self. Adin Hill started last night in a win over the Isles, so Reimer- who in his last five appearances, has a 4-1-0 record and .924 save percentage - gets the nod tonight. We get an up close and personal look at Tomas Hertl and need to be concerned with Logan Couture, Timo Meier and Jonathan Dahlen.

Shesterkin, following his 33-save win Wednesday, is 12-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. Plus, we know, those numbers are skewed by two games versus Calgary or they would be even more impressive than they already are. It's possible Georgiev goes tonight, though to me playing Igor would be the way to go. If Georgiev struggles again tomorrow, with the remaining cap room that exists for the team, could we see Keith Kinkaid or Adam Huska up with Jarred Tinordi or dare I say Libor Hajek exposed to waivers to be sent down to Hartford?

Lots of chatter on Strome's next contract value driven by Larry Brooks' column yesterday and one of the Daily Faceoff today. New York is in no rush to get a deal done. It's possible the two sides play the season out and see where Strome lands after the year. Granted, not the ideal, but if the team is playing well, no reason to move on from Strome to recoup a perceived loss in letting him walk at the end of the season. In addition, the future play of Filip Chytil as the 3C or trade market availability will be factors in that decision, along with if the cap is only to rise by $1 million as currently projected.

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