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Preview: Rangers at Canucks

Injured forwards Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich out for New York; Vancouver juggles top two lines

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

RANGERS (12-4-0) at CANUCKS (6-9-1) 

10 p.m. ET; SNP, MSG, NHL.TV

 

Rangers team scope

The New York Rangers are without injured forwards Chris Kreider (upper body) and Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms). Coach Alain Vigneault said Buchnevich, who skated in warmups but did not play against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, is day to day but did not have an update on Kreider. "He is in the process right now of going through the evaluation," Vigneault said. "I am hoping in the next 48 hours we should have an update." New York called up center Cristoval Nieves from Hartford of the American Hockey League and the 22-year-old will make his NHL debut on the fourth line. "It was exciting, kind of surreal to get that phone call," said Nieves, who the Rangers selected in the second round (No. 59) of the 2012 NHL Draft. "It doesn't register for a little bit until you make a few phone calls … My mom was so excited she started crying on the phone and my dad was pretty close to tears too." Vigneault said Nieves ranked behind Buchnevich, who had four goals and two assists in his past four games, and Jimmy Vesey, who has 11 points in 16 games, at rookie camp in Traverse City. "He got injured, came back and played well in Hartford, and our guys felt he deserved to come up," Vigneault said. "Throughout the season your team is going to be tested and you have to find ways to respond. We responded well in Edmonton and I'm hoping for a good game tonight against a team that beat us at home."

 

Canucks team scope

The Vancouver Canucks will juggle their top two lines, moving center Brandon Sutter to right wing with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin when they try to build on a comeback win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. The Sedins and Sutter started the third period together against the Stars, and Markus Granlund moved to Sutter's spot at second-line center with Loui Eriksson, who was dropped from the top line. Granlund and Eriksson combined to score 3:26 into the third period. The Sedins and Sutter, who played together early last season, combined on a power-play goal to tie the game 2:40 later. "We needed to get something going so we went back to that combination," coach Willie Desjardins said. "We had him there early last year and I liked that combination. We just got beat up so badly in the middle last year we had to take him out of it because of that. It's not just that line, maybe we can get something out of Eriksson and Granlund together as well." Goalie Jacob Markstrom will start after making 23 saves in a 5-3 win against the Rangers on Nov. 8. "It's nice when you do a scouting report to have a fresh memory of a team but it's a new game," Markstrom said. 

 

Rangers projected lineup

Michael Grabner -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

J.T. Miller -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Oscar Lindberg - Cristoval Nieves -- Brandon Pirri

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Brady Skjei

Nick Holden -- Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Adam Clendening

Injured: Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms), Chris Kreider (upper body), Josh Jooris (upper body)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Brandon Sutter

Loui Eriksson -- Markus Granlund -- Derek Dorsett  

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Alexandre Burrows  

Brendan Gaunce -- Michael Chaput -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Luca Sbisa -- Nikita Tryamkin

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Alex Biega, Philip Larsen, Jake Virtanen

Injured: Jannik Hansen (fractured rib), Anton Rodin (knee), Jayson Megna (shoulder), Christopher Tanev (lower body)

 

Status report

With Kreider and Buchnevich out, Miller and Fast each move up one line for a Rangers team that leads the NHL with 65 goals and has 10 players with at least 10 points, compared to one (Henrik Sedin) for the Canucks. … Virtanen was called up from Utica of the AHL on Sunday after playing two games there but will be a healthy scratch. "He's got some good talent but for me we have to make sure we give him the best chance, he's got to get up and get going," Desjardins said.

 

Who's hot

Grabner has three goals in his past two games and is tied for second in the League with 10 goals in his first season with the Rangers. … Daniel Sedin has three goals and two assists during a five-game point streak.

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