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Can Rangers turn their season around in west coast battle with Golden Knights?

Shesterkin named 2023 All-star
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) skates off after making a save in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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The New York Rangers enter a pivotal three-game stretch that could sink their season if they aren’t careful. Three matchups with some of the league’s best teams kick off Wednesday night when the Blueshirts take on the Pacific-leading Vegas Golden Knights. 

Like many teams they’ve seen so far, the Rangers actually have a lot in common with a Golden Knights team that has had to make offseason moves based on their difficult cap number. 

Of course, Vegas doesn’t have the young prospect depth that the Rangers have with most of the lineup filled with former first-round picks looking to take the next step in their development. 

The issue for New York is that development has not come fast enough for the franchise. A 12-10-5 record to start the season has been mired by inconsistent play with star players and a lack of overall development from the young players that the Rangers banked on. 

Monday night’s 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues provided a much-needed reprieve for the Rangers and their coaching staff. It’s a win that many in the Rangers’ room believe could be the stepping stone to better play as well. 

“It meant a lot. The last two weeks haven’t been good. Moving forward we get a good game against Vegas and then Colorado a couple of days later so we better play well on the road. We’ve had some good success on the road to hopefully that’ll continue.” head coach Gerard Gallant told reporters. 

They aren’t out of the woods yet though after a difficult start to the season. Concerns about the coaching staff will be answered over the next few days with a start coming Wednesday night against Vegas. New York has been successful on the road this season though. Away from MSG, New York is 7-4-1 and
has earned a point in seven of its last nine games (6-2-1).

If New York is to succeed this season, they’ll need all hands on deck to get through the tough stretch of games coming up. 

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