By: David Kolb
NEW YORK RANGERS (10-4-0) @ CALGARY FLAMES (5-9-1)
GETTIN’ GOING EARLY
The Rangers will try and jump on the Calgary Flames early tonight, as the Flames enter the night on a three-game losing streak and have dropped five of their past six contests. With a quick start, the Blueshirts can keep the starved for a win Scotiabank Saddledome crowd quiet, considering the Flames own a 2-5-0 record on home ice.
SUCCESS AWAY FROM MSG?
After the Rangers played 10 of their first 14 games at The Garden, the Rangers begin a four-game, eight-day road trip against the Flames tonight. Entering the road-trip six games over .500, the Rangers hope to achieve success away from The Garden, maintaining their place amongst the NHL’s elite.
JOHNNY HOCKEY HEATING UP
Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau scored twice Thursday to snap a run of six-games without a goal. Johnny Hockey may be getting hot and must be watched carefully, as he now has three points in his past two games and four goals with six assists for 10 points in 15 games this season.
Rangers’ rookie Pavel Buchnevich scored a goal and added two helpers in Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Canucks. The freshman now has five points, including a goal in each of his past three games, bringing his season total to three goals and four assists for seven points in nine games.
The Rangers’ forward lines will look different tonight, as Alain Vigneault has done some tinkering heading into the road-trip. Mika Zibanejad will skate between Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich, Derek Stepan will center Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes will be with Jimmy Vesey and J.T. Miller, and Brandon Pirri will serve as the pivot for Michael Grabner and Jesper Fast.