New York Rangers vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick & Prediction JANUARY 8th 2024

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In 1994 the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks met in a memorable seven-game Stanley Cup final.

Back then, the Rangers were the NHL’s best team in the regular season and ended a 54-year championship drought while the Canucks were the seventh seed in the Western Conference and pulled off three upsets.

This year, both teams are atop their respective divisions and in the mix for the most points in the league heading into Monday night when the Canucks visit the Rangers.

New York has led the Metropolitan Division for most of the season under first-year coach Peter Laviolette, and its 54 points are tied with the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets for the most in the league. The Rangers also own a league-best 26 victories but have slightly tailed off in recent weeks by going 8-6-1 since Dec. 5.

New York is attempting to avoid consecutive losses for only the second time this season. Ten of its wins are immediately following defeats. The Rangers followed up a 6-1 home rout by the Carolina Hurricanes with Thursday’s 4-1 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks before clashing with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

The Rangers gave up the first three goals before Vincent Trocheck, Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox scored. New York was unable to complete its comeback when Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere were blanked in the shootout and Jonathan Quick allowed a goal to Cole Caufield.

New York’s 4-3 loss occurred in a game when it took a season-high 48 shots on goal while 25 attempts were blocked and 16 missed the net.

“We weren’t playing that bad,” Fox said. “We were getting chances. We were just giving them a few too many Grade-A looks, and they scored on some of them. So yeah, we battled back hard, and we’d love to get two points. But, you know, we worked for that point.”

Vancouver is 9-2-2 in its past 13 games and has split the first two games of its six-game road trip. The Canucks opened with a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and then responded nicely with Saturday’s 6-4 win at New Jersey.

Vancouver scored the first three goals in a span of 4:37 to start a four-goal second period, and it held a 5-2 lead before holding on. Elias Petterson scored twice and collected an assist while former Ranger J.T. Miller also scored twice.

Petterson and Miller displayed significant chemistry after coach Rick Tocchet paired them together along with Brock Boeser. The trio combined for four goals and four assists. The trio were linemates in 2019-20 and played extensively together for the first time since the 2021-22 campaign.

“We played a ton (together back) in the day, so just trying to work hard, make plays and be reliable for each other,” Boeser said.

Miller and Petterson continued their recent hot streaks and the move seemed to aid Boeser, who got his first multi-point game since a hat trick on Dec. 12. Miller has five goals and 23 points in his past 18 games, while Petterson has six goals in his past eight contests, but Tocchet is unsure if the trio will continue as linemates.

“We’ll see,” Tocchet said. “We’ll see how long we keep it together. This is going to be situational. There’s going to be times when I need Petey to play on a different line as a center.”

The Rangers earned a 4-3 victory in the first meeting Oct. 28 in Vancouver when Panarin, Fox and Zibanejad scored power-play goals and K’Andre Miller scored 3:48 into overtime.

–Field Level Media

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