Canucks next game: Biting the Big Apple

The Rangers have the league’s best goalie and one of the best power plays. But they’re playing the second of two games in two nights.

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25-22-6, 6th in Pacific Division


33-14-5, 3rd in Metropolitan Division

sunday4:30 p.m., Madison Square Garden.

TV: Sportsnet Pacific. Radio: Sportsnet 650.


The Rangers have a remarkable record and yet sit only third in their division, such is the strength of the Metropolitan. So much of their success this season comes down to strong defensively play and outstanding goaltending, especially from Igor Shesterkin. Offensively, they have one of the league’s best power plays but overall they are middle of the pack in scored goals, averaging just under three per game. The Canucks aren’t that stout defensively but do have an elite goaltender in Thatcher Demko, so even playing at one of the biggest stages in the league in Madison Square Garden, the Canucks aren’t coming in as hopeless underdogs.


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1. JT Miller GP 51 W 20 A 37 PTS 57 (+4)

2. Quinn Hughes GP 49 W 4 A 37 PTS 41 (+11)

3. Elias Pettersson GP 50 W 16 A 21 PTS 37 (+2)


1. Artemi Panarin GP 47 W 14 A 41 PTS 55 (+2)

2. Mika Zibanejad GP 52 W 20 A 33 PTS 53 (+16)

3. Adam Fox GP 49 W 7 A 42 PTS 49 (+13)


CANUCKS: PP 20.5% (16th) PK 70.1% (32nd)

RANGERS: PP 25.9% (4th) PK 83.2% (7th)


Who plays in goal: The Rangers lost to the Penguins on Saturday and so you wonder if Igor Shesterkin, the odds-on favorite for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie, will face the Canucks on Sunday. He’s the biggest reason the Rangers have the record they do. And how will rest factor in, with the Canucks not having played since Thursday?


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The Breadman: Artemi Panarin hasn’t been as dominant offensively this season as he has been in years past but there’s little doubt he’s still a game changer. He didn’t score against the Penguins, the second game in a row he’s gone with out a point. But that’s also just the second time this season he’s gone two games in a row pointless, so there’s little doubt he’ll be champing at the bit Sunday to face the Canucks.

• The Blue Fox: Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy last season as the NHL’s best defenseman. And he’s already scored more points this season than he did last year. His matchup of him vs. Quinn Hughes is mouth-watering.

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