National Hockey League
Preview
NY Rangers at Vancouver
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 13, 2014
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia


After seeing a once-promising road trip skid off the rails, the Vancouver Canucks hope to get back on track when they open a four-game homestand against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Surprising Vancouver was perched atop the Pacific Division following a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Dec. 4 but dropped the final three on its seven-game trek. The Canucks have lost four in a row to the Rangers, including two straight in Vancouver.

New York, which is kicking off a four-game road trip, has been off since outlasting Pittsburgh in overtime on Monday to halt a modest two-game slide. "We needed it for a couple reasons," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said after the Rangers coughed up a two-goal lead. "Obviously for confidence, but also we need points to get back in the race." Rick Nash has scored in back-to-back games and has six goals in his last eight contests.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), CBC

ABOUT THE RANGERS (12-10-4): Forward Chris Kreider sat out Monday's game due to neck spasms and found himself skating on the team's fourth line at Friday's practice while J.T. Miller assumes his spot on the No. 2 line. Kreider had 17 goals and 37 points in 66 games last season but has scored only four times this season and is mired in an 11-game goalless drought. "I know how I have to play, and I don't need somebody to send me a message," Kreider said of being dropped to the fourth line. "I put more pressure on myself than anyone else."

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (18-9-2): Vancouver is tied with New Jersey for the fewest home games (11), but it enters a favorable stretch with nine of the next 11 to be played at Rogers Arena. "It's time to take care of business at home," said forward Daniel Sedin, who is tied with twin brother Henrik for the team lead with 26 points. "This is going to be a key stretch for us, so we're excited." Goaltender Ryan Miller struggled during the middle of the road trip, allowing 11 goals in two-plus games, but it 7-1-0 at home this season.

OVERTIME

1. Lundqvist has won his last three starts - including a pair of shutouts - versus the Canucks.

2. Vancouver is 0-for-13 on the power play over the past four games.

3. Nash is riding an eight-game point streak.

PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Canucks 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Rangers 12-10-0-4 W1 9-5-0-3 3-5-0-1 3-0-0-0 9-10-0-4 7-2-0-1
Vancouver 18-9-1-1 L3 7-3-0-1 11-6-1-0 0-1-0-0 18-8-1-1 7-2-0-1
Last Meeting
NY Rangers Vancouver
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/1/14 NYR 3 VAN 1 31 34 1-3 35 28 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NY Rangers B. Boyle 1
Vancouver R. Kesler 1
Goals Player  
NY Rangers D. Carcillo 1
Vancouver R. Kesler 1
Assists Player  
NY Rangers B. Boyle 1
Vancouver D. Sedin 1
Saves Player  
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 34
Vancouver E. Lack 28
Season
Total Points Player  
NY Rangers R. Nash 29
Vancouver H. Sedin 32
Goals Player  
NY Rangers R. Nash 18
Vancouver R. Vrbata 15
Assists Player  
NY Rangers D. Brassard 16
Vancouver H. Sedin 26
Saves Player  
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 586
Vancouver R. Miller 570
Quickchart Matchup
NY Rangers Off vs  Vancouver Def
2.92 GF
2.76 GA
30.5 Shots
28.6 Shots
13 PP
14 PK
Vancouver Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.97 GF
2.77 GA
31.4 Shots
29.5 Shots
17 PP
16 PK