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Preview: Ducks at Rangers

New York's Marc Staal, Kevin Hayes expected to play; Anaheim continues six-game trip

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / Staff Writer

DUCKS (28-16-10) at RANGERS (33-18-1)



Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks play the third of a season-long six-game, 14-day road trip that's off to an 0-1-1 start. The Ducks are 2-3-1 in their past six games and trail the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks by three points after losses to the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. "I don't think anyone is panicking by any means, but I think there needs to be a sense of desperation sometimes during the season," forward Andrew Cogliano said. "You never want to get into a situation where you're losing consecutive games. It seems like things build that way when it happens." The Ducks have taken 14 minor penalties in their past two games, and their 213 are second-most in the NHL behind the Calgary Flames (236). "That is an area of concern, front and center," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Sometimes you might have to hit them over the head with a broom if they don't listen. We're going to have to make a stand that if you're going to take penalties, you're not going to play. Simple as that." The Ducks have lost their past four games against the New York Rangers since Jan. 7, 2015."We can't get into the game that they want to play," Cogliano said. "They play fast. They stretch zones. They're really high powered offensively. We have to play strong defensively. They definitely give us a lot of problems so it should be a good challenge for us."

Rangers team scope

Defenseman Marc Staal will play after the flu kept him out of the final 7:37 of the Rangers' 4-3 win against the Flames on Sunday, when he received an IV during the first intermission. "Anything is better than Sunday," Staal said. "It hit me a couple of hours before [the game]. I thought I could get through it. Obviously it didn't feel great during the game. I probably should have just went home. I felt during warmups I had enough to go. I feel better now and I'm excited about tonight." Forward Kevin Hayes will be a game-time decision after missing five games because of a lower-body injury, but coach Alain Vigneault said Hayes should be good to go. The Rangers are four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division and want to build on their win Sunday after losing five of six and six of eight at Madison Square Garden. "The only way to breed confidence at home is to win games," Staal said. "It was as big win for us the other day. We have a really good team coming here tonight, good challenge for us at home, for sure. We're all excited about it." A win would give Vigneault his 600th as an NHL coach.


Ducks projected lineup

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Shea Theodore -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Jared Boll

Injured: Sami Vatanen (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

J.T. Miller -- Kevin Hayes -- Michael Grabner

Pavel Buchnevich -- Oscar Lindberg -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, Matt Puempel

Injured: None


Status report

Vatanen remains day to day and will miss his second consecutive game. … Puempel skated with the extras and will be scratched if Hayes returns. Hayes is expected to center Miller and Grabner on the third line, which gives Vigneault the balance he hasn't often had because of injuries. "If you want to play an up-tempo fast game you have to roll your lines quickly," Vigneault said. "You have to keep your shifts short and play with pace, and that's what we're going to try and do."


Who's hot

Getzlaf has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 13 games. Rakell has scored 17 goals in his past 35 games; his 21 goals are an NHL career-high. Kesler has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past three games. Silfverberg has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past three. … Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his past seven appearances (5-1-0, 2.02 GAA, .933 save percentage, one shutout). Miller has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in his past 15 games (7-11-18). Kreider has scored in three straight games, tying his NHL career-high.

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