New York is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Well, that will hopefully be the case for the Vegas Golden Knights who take on the New York Rangers in The Big Apple tonight.
The Vegas Golden Knights start a three-game road trip on the east coast against the Blueshirts tonight, before taking on the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and then facing the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Tonight will be no easy task for the Knights at the World’s Most Famous Arena, though, given that the Rangers are currently on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) and are chasing a playoff berth.
They are 8-4-2 at Madison Square Garden this year and boast one of the premier talents in the entire NHL in Artemi Panarin, who leads the Rangers in points with 33 (12 goals, 21 assists).
It is a big game for both teams and the Golden Knights really need to get going after carving out a less than stellar 5-6-3 record in November, which simply isn’t going to get the job done.
So, on that note, let’s go over some keys to the game…
1. Shutdown Artemi Panarin
Artemi Panarin firmly belongs in the upper echelons of elite players in the National Hockey League, and he is proving that he’s worth every penny of the $81,500,000 the New York Rangers shelled out to lure the Russian stud to The Big Apple during the off-season.
Through 25 games Panarin has contributed 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points, including 10 points on the power play.
He’s a playmaking king and he also boasts a wicked and deadly release, which is normally put to use on the power play.
Panarin makes the Rangers tick and their play goes through their star, as well as through franchise center Mika Zibanejad.
Elite game-changers have the talent to make plays out of nothing and Panarin certainly does that for New York, so the Golden Knights are going to have to stick with Panarin and cut off the Blueshirts’ biggest supply line.
Because, if they let Artemi Panarin wreak havoc then it could be a very, very long night.