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Flames kick off road trip in New York

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (32-23-4) at RANGERS (36-16-6)

TV: SNW, MSG

Season series: Two goals from Rick Nash sparked the New York Rangers to a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 16, 2014 at Scotiabank Saddledome that completed a three-game Western Canada sweep. Flames goalie Karri Ramo was chased after allowing four goals on 13 shots.

Flames team scope: Calgary traveled to New York on Monday to begin its longest road trip of the season, a seven-game, 13-day trek through the Eastern Conference, on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture. The Flames (68 points) are in fourth place in the Pacific Division but trail the Minnesota Wild by a point in the race for the second Western Conference wild-card spot and have struggled against East opponents (8-12-2). "We know what's at stake. Everyone does," Flames captain Mark Giordano told the Canadian Press on Sunday. "The one thing is the excitement level for us because we haven't been in this situation in a few years." Ramo will start against the Rangers. Forwards Michael Ferland and Emile Poirier were recalled from Adirondack of the American Hockey League on Monday with center Matt Stajan on leave for the birth of his first child. Forward Paul Byron (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

Rangers team scope: New York sits two points behind the first-place New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division (with three games in hand) thanks to a 9-1-2 run in its past 12 games. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (vascular injury) worked on the ice Monday with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire. He has faced light shots low into his leg pads but isn't scheduled to see a doctor yet. The Rangers are 7-1-2 since Lundqvist's injury. Forward Jesper Fast (sprained right knee) practiced wearing a yellow non-contact jersey with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello in place of Nash (maintenance day), and is close to returning to full contact. "When he got hurt we were told it was a 2-4 week process, and he's in that range and is coming along," coach Alain Vigneault told BlueshirtsUnited.com. "I think he should be back in time to help us out [down the stretch]." After going 15 games without a goal, forward Martin St. Louis has four goals and six points in his past four games.

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