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Preview: Flames at Rangers

Calgary goalie Brian Elliott looking for fourth straight win; New York struggling at home

by David Satriano @DavidSatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

FLAMES (27-24-3) at RANGERS (32-18-1)

2 p.m. ET; SN360, MSG, NHL.TV

 

Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames go for their fourth straight win when they continue a three-game road trip against the New York Rangers. "They are fast and they are big," coach Glen Gulutzan said after practice Saturday. "I'm really glad we got that game (a 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday) under our belt because that first period was as fast a game as I've seen this year. The East seems to me to have more tempo and the West seems more heavy and physical, but we have to adapt our speed here, and I think the Rangers are one of those teams that are a hybrid; they're big but they're real quick as well." Calgary skated at Central Park in New York on Saturday. "I thought we had a good pace today, a good practice," forward Kris Versteeg said. "At the end we had a little fun. It's more so about getting on the ice before tomorrow's afternoon game." The Flames hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "Two or three guys on the bench [after regulation on Friday] said, 'We got a point, now let's keep going,'" Gulutzan said. "They all recognize the value of every point." Goalie Brian Elliott, who is 3-0-0 and has allowed six goals in his past three games, will make his fourth straight start.

 

Rangers team scope

New York begins a four-game homestand; it's 14-11-1 at Madison Square Garden but has one win in its past six home games (1-5-0). That includes a 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday which they trailed 6-0, and a 7-6 loss to the Dallas Stars on Jan. 17 which they trailed 7-3. "We're aware of our home record," coach Alain Vigneault told the Rangers website Saturday. "We're going through a small little stretch right now that is a little bit more challenging for us, but I feel we're real close. In all the games, we've had some stretches, we've had some pushes where we've played really well and it'd just a matter of putting everything together." New York defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in overtime Thursday and is hoping to carry some of that momentum. "Your building is supposed to be hard to come in and play there," forward J.T. Miller said. "We've got to get back to that. We're worrying about tomorrow. It starts with a good first period tomorrow." The Rangers are 15-5-0 against the Western Conference this season, which they play in their next four games. "Our focus has to be on Calgary," Vigneault said. "I saw them play [Friday] night. They played a real strong game. ... It's going to be a real good challenge for us."

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Alex Chiasson

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Jyrki Jokipakka -- Deryk Engelland

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Brett Kulak

Injured: Garnet Hathaway (upper body)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner -- J.T. Miller -- Jesper Fast

Matt Puempel -- Oscar Lindberg -- Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening

Injured: Kevin Hayes (lower body)

 

Status report

Gulutzan said he doesn't anticipate any lineup changes from Friday. "We've got a couple little nicks here that I'll take a look at, but I would think things would stay the same," he said. ... Vigneault said Hayes won't play Sunday but "is very, very close to coming back."

 

Who's hot

Brodie had four assists Friday. ... Gaudreau has one goal and four assists in his past three games. ... Monahan has scored in three straight games (four goals). ... Kreider has a goal in each of his past two games.

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