NHL On Tap: Zibanejad, Rangers ready for Oilers, McDavid

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Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the one game Monday.

 

Zibanejad looks to stay hot against McDavid, Draisaitl

Mika Zibanejad will try to continue his scoring surge when the New York Rangers host the Edmonton Oilers (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNW, TVAS, MSG, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The center had a hat trick in New York’s 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and has scored multiple points in four of his past five games (nine points; six goals, three assists). Zibanejad faces Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in a potentially high-scoring matchup after the Oilers defeated the Rangers 6-5 in overtime at Rogers Place on Nov. 5. Zibanejad scored two goals in that game; McDavid and Draisaitl each had three points (one goal, two assists). — Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

 

Rangers end back to back at home before five-game trip

The Rangers play the second of a back-to-back set at Madison Square Garden against the Oilers coming off a home-and-home sweep against the Lightning. New York (21-8-4) became the sixth team in the NHL to win 20 games this season by defeating Tampa Bay 4-3 in overtime Friday. Time will tell whether the Rangers emerge as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender under Gerard Gallant, who needed 32 games to reach 20 wins, second fewest in team history by a first-year coach behind Mike Keenan (20-6-3 in 1993-94), but they’re in a good position approaching the midway point of 2021-22 with victories in 11 of their past 16 games (11-4-1). After facing the Oilers, the Rangers start a five-game road trip (Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers) and don’t return home until Jan. 19. — Jon Lane, staff writer

 

Oilers must hold late leads

The Oilers (18-12-2) have a point in each of their past two games, overtime losses at the New Jersey Devils (6-5 on Friday) and New York Islanders (3-2 on Saturday). Edmonton entered the third period in each game leading by a goal and surrendered that lead, so let’s see if it can get a lead and close against the Rangers on Monday. You know what you’re going to get from McDavid and Draisaitl, the top two scorers in the NHL with 53 and 52 points, respectively. It’s about what the Oilers give up. They’re tied with the Flyers for 21st in the NHL, allowing 3.22 goals per game and 10th with 36 goals against in the third period. The Montreal Canadiens have given up the most with 45. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

 

Monday schedule

Edmonton Oilers at New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNW, TVAS, MSG, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Oilers have lost three straight (0-1-2) and are 2-7-2 in their past 11 games. Chris Kreider has scored 16 power-play points for the Rangers, tied with Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller for third behind Oilers forwards Connor McDavid (22) and Leon Draisaitl (21). New York will be without their leading scorer Artemi Panarin (36 points; 10 goals, 26 assists), who’s in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs (postponed)

Minnesota Wild at Ottawa Senators (postponed)

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