NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Ducks in potential Stanley Cup preview

14 Comments

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign tonight as the New York Rangers host the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks rank among their respective conferences’ best, so Sunday presents an interesting test for each team. Some may even wonder if this could end up being the 2015 Stanley Cup Final preview.

The Rangers hold a commanding lead on the top spot in the Atlantic Division while the Ducks’ Pacific Division brethren faded from their rear-view mirrors long ago.

Each team is now eyeing broader seeding goals, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing well as of late.

Anaheim is on a four-game winning streak as they begin a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams with this game versus the Rangers at MSG. The Blueshirts are winners of seven of their past nine contests including Saturday’s 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes (so the Ducks hold a slight fatigue advantage today).

Interestingly, both the Rangers and Ducks are gunning for the Montreal Canadiens to some extent.

Montreal owns a tiebreaker advantage over the Ducks for the NHL’s top standings spot while the Rangers only trailing the Habs by two points despite holding three games in hand.

There should be plenty of firepower on hand with Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry representing three of the NHL’s premier power forwards.

The netminders may not be so familiar to some fans, yet Cam Talbot will face a quality goaltender, whether it’s Frederik Andersen or John Gibson in net.

These two teams don’t see each other all that frequently, yet they hope to face off in a certain seven-game series in June if things break the right way. Even if this ends up being the last time these two teams meet in 2014-15, it should be a great show on NBCSN.