Some games simply don’t need much hype or explanation prior to puck drop. Thursday night’s Stanley Cup Final rematch is one such contest. Anytime you get teams from the two largest U.S. markets, there is the natural East Coast v West Coast flavor permeating the air. This one is a little extra special because of their battle for sport’s greatest trophy just six months ago.
This game won’t be easy for either club, as Los Angeles holds one of the league’s best home records, while the Rangers are a near-perfect over their prior 10 games (entering Wednesday night vs. Anaheim).
Per the norm, below are five notes that should help you sound smart while watching all the action with a friend or loved one… or even at a sports bar talking to strangers…
Five Things You May Not Have Known about the New York Rangers:
1. Rick Nash leads the team in goals (24), points (38),plus-minus (+17), shorthanded goals (three), and he is tied for the team lead in power play goals (four) as well as game winning goals (three). Nash is also on pace for a career-high 55 goals. His previous best was 41, back in the 2003-04 season while playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
2. The Rangers have won nine of their last 10 games, outscoring the opposition 33-16.
3. Derek Stepan is on an eight-game point streak with four goals and seven assists.
4. Goalies Henrik Lundqvist (five) and Cam Talbot (three) have combined for an NHL-leading eight shutouts.
5. The Rangers have yet to lose in regulation when leading after 40 minutes, posting a 15-0-1 record.
What might happen on the ice, you ask? Be sure to click here to see the latest predictions in our Puck Probability series – where we are joined by Patrick Kearns of The Fourth Period magazine.
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