The Vancouver Canucks (1-4-0) close out their pre-season tonight when they host a familiar face in former head coach Alain Vigneault and the New York Rangers (1-3-0).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Tonight marks the sixth and final pre-season game for the Canucks this year. For the Rangers, it is their fifth of six pre-season games. New York concludes their pre-season tomorrow night when they face the LA Kings in Las Vegas.
- The Canucks went down in defeat for the fourth time in five exhibition games on Tuesday night dropping a 5-0 decision to the San Jose Sharks. G Eddie Lack, making likely his final start of pre-season, made 28 saves in the loss.
- The Rangers suffered their second straight loss on Tuesday dropping a 5-3 decision to the Oilers on the road. D Marc Staal, F J.T. Miller and D Dan Girardi scored for the Rangers in the losing effort.
- Speaking of Staal, the Rangers blue-liner missed the majority of last season and playoffs after suffering a gruesome eye injury but has returned this season in fine form. He has two goals and 13 shots in three pre-season games and has averaged well over 20 minutes of ice-time.
- All six of the Rangers pre-season games this year have been away from home. The Rangers' famed home rink – Madison Square Garden – is undergoing renovations and won't be available to them until late October. The Rangers are scheduled to play their first nine regular season games on the road before hosting the Montreal Canadiens in their home opener on October 28.
- The expected goaltending match-up tonight will be between Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and New York's Henrik Lundqvist.
- The Canucks had a team day off yesterday so news on tonight's lineup will likely come out after the morning skate. Expect the Canucks to be all hands on deck tonight with this being their final pre-season contest. Some of the bubble players that still remain in camp include F Hunter Shinkaruk, F Brendan Gaunce, F Bo Horvat, F Mike Santorelli and D Yannick Weber. The Rangers, likewise, did not skate yesterday but are expected to dress a strong lineup as well.
- Plenty of focus tonight will be behind the two teams' respective benches as this is the first meeting between the Rangers and the Canucks since the teams swapped head coaches over the off-season with Alain Vigneault taking over in New York and John Tortorella signing on in Vancouver. These teams will meet twice during the regular season this year, including on April 1 when the Rangers make a return trip to Rogers Arena.
- Alain Vigneault won't be the only familiar face to Canucks fans behind the Rangers' bench. Also behind their bench is Scott Arniel, who spent several seasons within the Canucks organization most notably as head coach of their farm team at various times in Manitoba and Chicago, respectively.
- The Canucks and Rangers did not face each other last season as a result of the lockout shortened season scrapping all cross-Conference contests.
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