Rangers-Ryan McDonagh: Like the rest of his teammates---in particular the defensemen---McDonagh got off to a slow start this season. He was a minus-5 with just one point---a goal---through the first five games, and his new head coach Alain Vigneault was not trusting him yet with 20+ minutes a night of ice time. But following that loss in St. Louis, McDonagh has asserted himself at both ends of the ice and become the Rangers most reliable defenseman. McDonagh has played more than 20 minutes a night---usually in the 25 or 26 minute range---has posted a plus-six plus/minus rating and has notched five points (1-4-5) in the past eight games. He enters Monday's game riding a three-game points streak and his 2-4-6 scoring through 13 games is tied for third best on the entire team, and is most among the defensemen. Most importantly McDonagh has filled the role of shutdown defenseman, being one of the key backbones to the team's defensive resurgance of late. He will play a vital role against the likes of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf on Monday night.
Ducks-Ryan Getzlaf: Anaheim's captain has had a bit of a strange season so far. Getzlaf has had some monster offensive games, and then quite often there are strings of games in succession in which he can not find his way on to the scoresheet. Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 16 points and ten assists through 15 games, and his six goals are second most on the team. However so much of his production has come in spurts---a four-point outing on October 20th against Dallas, and his three-point (1-2-3) effort against Buffalo this past Saturday night. He has also had a pair of two-point games. Interestingly, in the games he has been held without a point, he has also posted a minus-six plus/minus mark. Nonetheless, Getzlaf is a dangerous center, creative and skilled, not to mention big and fast. He and Cory Perry have a special chemistry on ice and will demand plenty of attention from the Rangers. The 28 year old has 537 points in 571 career games, and has scored more than 70 points three times over his eight-year NHL career. Plain and simple, Ryan Getzlaf is a force the Rangers must contend with on Monday night.