Time: 7:00 pm EST
Location: Madison Square Garden-New York, NY
The Rangers continue their march up the division standings tonight, as they take on the Calgary Flames. After shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, where they found themselves up 3-0 only to see the lead slip away, the Rangers find themselves two points behind the first place New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. And by night’s end, the team could in themselves in a tie with their rivals. The Islanders are playing tonight, as they host the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona will be make their way to Madison Square Garden on Thursday to conclude the Rangers home stand.
The two teams will meet for the second and final time this season. Their previous game was away at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, where the Rangers won 5-2 behind two goals from Rick Nash , on December 16th.
New York Rangers: 36-16-6 with 78 points, second place in the Metropolitan Division
In their past 10 games, the Rangers are 7-1-2. They are currently on a two-game win streak where they have outscored their opponent seven to four. At home this season, the Rangers are 18-7-5 scoring 91 goals in front of the home crowd. That’s good enough 13th best in the NHL. One of the team’s strength recently has been the Penalty Kill unit. Entering tonight, the Rangers have the 10th best PK unit with 83% success rate. At home this season, they’ve only yielded 15 goals in 84 times short-handed.
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Calgary Flames: 32-23-2 with 68 points, fourth place in the Pacific Division
The Flames are playing their first game in four days. Their last game was on February 20th against the Anaheim Ducks, where they lost 6-3. The team is 15-11-1 on the road. In their last 10 games, the Flames are 6-3-1. They are currently one point behind the Minnesota Wild for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. So, tonight’s game is just as important to the Flames as it is the Rangers. The Flames have the 22nd best Power Play Unit scoring 17.5% of the time with the man-advantage.
For the Rangers, Cam Talbot will be in net again. Last game against the Blue jackets, he started off strong and looked to be on his way to a smooth win. Unfortunately, lapses in the defensive zone caused the game to into overtime. Fortunately, Talbot was able to recover and remain tall allowing only one goal in the shootout. For the season, he is 10-5-3 with a 2.58 goals against average. Talbot has won his last six appearances, with this last loss coming against the Dallas Stars in a 2-3 overtime loss back on February 8th.
The Flames will counter with Karri Romo. For the season, he is 9-5-1 with a 2.69 goals against average. His save percentage is .904. In his last five appearances, Ramo has one win.
The Rangers will be without the services of Henrik Lundqvist (neck injury) and Jesper Fast (knee injury). Progress on both layers is optimistic. Fast could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday night against the Coyotes. Lundqvist again was seen on the ice, in full gear, but taking low shots in practice.