St. Louis Blues vs New York Rangers Game Preview 12/5/2022

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St. Louis Blues vs New York Rangers Game Preview 12/5/2022

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St. Louis Blues vs New York Rangers Game Preview 12/5/2022

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The Rundown:

Two teams expected to contend in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that have experienced some troubles this year, are looking to fix that by trying to win a big game tonight in the Big Apple. Tonight at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will try and snap a three-game home losing streak (0-2-1) hosting the St. Louis Blues. The Blues (11-13-0) have lost three in a row and five of six (1-5-0). St. Louis and New York are struggling and are looking to find some answers to fix their season. A win for either team tonight could help them get a start on redeeming their seasons. So an intense matchup is expected tonight in downtown Manhattan. 

The Matchup

Through two matchups last year, each team took a win against one another. The Rangers beat the Blues 5-3 on home ice on March 2nd, while the Blues beat the Rangers 6-2 in St. Louis 8 days later on the 10th. In 2021-22, the Rangers were excellent on home ice and one of the best in the league, with a record of. 27-10-4 at MSG. This season, they are 4-6-4 and just 1-5-2 at Madison Square Garden since 11/3. The New York Rangers are a team in search of a win and some answers. The Blues are in a similar spot with their struggles. Jordan Binnington, their starting goalie, has lost five consecutive starts. In that span he had a 4.84 goals-against average, .841 save percentage, and was pulled in the second period of a 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. His play has been a huge cause for concern with his season stats (3.27 GAA and a .895 SV%) putting the Blues in a tricky place. A bright spot for the Blues has been Pavel Buchnevich, who will play his 93rd game for the Blues since he was acquired in a trade with the Rangers. On July 23, 2021, he was traded for Sammy Blais and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He’s scored 38 goals with St. Louis, second to Vladimir Tarasenko’s 39 since making his debut. 

Players To Watch

For the Blues, Robert Thomas is the player to watch. The 23-year-old has been playing second line center for the Blues and leads the team in points (21 points; four goals, seventeen assists). With five points in his last five games, Thomas has become an important part of this Blues’ roster. His play making and passing, especially at the center position, has been helping drive success on that second line. The Blues may have struggled as a whole this season, but his play and personal success could help the Blues make strides going forward. 

For the Rangers, Jacob Trouba is the player to watch. After being named the captain of the Rangers, a lot of expectations have been placed on Trouba. This season has not looked so good for him, having only six assists and zero goals through 26 games. His presence offensively and defensively has not been seen, and he needs to step up big time in order for the Rangers to bounce back.

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