Rangers @ Vancouver
10 PM, GM Place
Rangers Record: 9 - 5 - 1
Canucks Record: 8 - 7 - 0
The Rangers are healing from their early injury woes, while Vancouver continues to struggle with untimely injuries to some of their best players, namely goaltender Roberto Luongo.
The Canucks have seen Pavol Demitra (shoulder surgery), Jannik Hansen (broken hand), Daniel Sedin (broken foot), Kyle Wellwood (broken toe), and others fall early for extended periods of time.
However, they have been able to remain competitive with contributions from youthful fill-ins and depth veterans. Vancouver has also taken advantage of home ice, boasting an outstanding home record of 6 - 2 - 0.
Major offseason re-signing Henrik Sedin has lived up to his end of the bargain, scoring 16 points in 15 games. Center Ryan Kesler has also been good, with 13 points. Former Ranger and Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson has also contributed offensively with 12 points.
Defenseman Christian Ehroff has led the re-tooled defensive group with 11 points and a +4. Veteran Kevin Bieksa has also been steady with seven points, but is a -2.
In their last game, Canucks' backup goalie Andrew Raycroft stood tall, a 3 - 0 shutout against Colorado.
Coming off a 1 - 0 victory at home against the Boston Bruins, the Rangers have made a few changes as well.
First, Vinny Prospal, a standout offensively thus far, was named Assistant Captain. Prospal has been a tremendous presence for the Rangers both on and off the ice.
Another accolade was awarded today as rookie defenseman Mike Del Zotto was named NHL Rookie of the Month for October. Del Zotto has a 12 points and is a +3 in his first season.
On the ice, the Rangers will sport some line changes. Given the injury to Enver Lisin, Chris Higgins is being rewarded for his recent hard work by taking the left wing on the first line with Prospal and Marian Gaborik.
Brandon Dubinsky will center the second line with Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan. Callahan has improved his play the past couple games and will look to continue that with a quicker line.
The third line will pair center Chris Drury with rookie Dane Byers and Ales Kotalik. Donald Brashear is sitting in favor of a line with Brian Boyle, Artem Anisimov, and Aaron Voros.
Henrik Lundqvist is back in the net after recording his first shutout of the season against Boston.