Anaheim Ducks vs. New York Rangers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 21st 2024

It’s been a frustrating start to a four-game western road trip for the New York Rangers.

New York never really was in the game in the opener of the trip on Thursday, falling behind 4-0 in the first two periods of an eventual 5-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Then on stop two in Los Angeles on Saturday night, the Rangers sputtered out of the gate, getting outshot 12-2 in the first period of an eventual 2-1 loss to the Kings.

Next up is a 45-minute drive south to Anaheim, home of Disneyland — aka the Happiest Place on Earth — for a Sunday night game against the Ducks.

The city has been the happiest place for visiting NHL teams this season. Anaheim is a woeful 6-16-1 on its own ice at the Honda Center, the fewest home wins of any team in the league, and lost six of seven games on their most recent homestand.

The Ducks return home Sunday for two games, and they might just be the perfect tonic for Peter Laviolette’s slumping Rangers, who still lead the Metropolitan Division by two points over the Philadelphia Flyers despite winning just two of their past eight games (2-6-0).

New York will bring a five-game road losing streak into the contest, having scored a total of just nine goals in that span.

“We’re going through it right now,” defenseman Jacob Trouba said after the Kings spoiled the homecoming of longtime Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick, who stopped 24 of 26 shots and received a lengthy standing ovation following a video tribute.

“There’s no magic answer to get out of this. We all have to try and bring a little more. The work is there. We’re just fighting to get the results.”

The Rangers managed only a second-period goal from Chris Kreider against Kings backup goalie David Rittich, his first goal in eight games. Quinton Byfield scored the game-winner a few minutes later for Los Angeles, which had lost 10 of its previous 11 games.

“We need to get better,” Kreider said. “It’s something different every night for us. You play 82 games, you’re going to go through some tough stretches. If you get exasperated, blame yourself, try to look for answers, we don’t get out of the hole. But you lean into the frustration, you work through it, you learn and get better.”

Anaheim is no stranger to frustration or losing. The Ducks fell 5-3 to the team with the worst record in the league, the San Jose Sharks, on Saturday night.

It was the fourth loss in the past five games for the Ducks, who are just 2-7-1 over their last 10 games. Anaheim lost despite outshooting the Sharks 34-19.

“It doesn’t matter how many shots you have, it’s the quality of shots,” Ducks coach Greg Cronin told “And we actually had quality shots that we didn’t take. Give them credit, they did an unbelievable job blocking shots, and they stayed with it.”

Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist and Troy Terry had two assists for the Ducks. One bright spot for Anaheim was that rookie defenseman Jackson LaCombe, playing in his 43rd career game, scored his first NHL goal.

“I thought we played well, and we had a few good chances at the end to tie it up but it didn’t happen,” LaCombe said. “So we’ve just got to move on to the next game.”

–Field Level Media

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