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Flames make rare visit to Rangers @NHLdotcom

FLAMES (13-15-4) at RANGERS (15-17-1)


Last 10: Calgary 6-4-0; New York 3-6-1

Season series: The Calgary Flames are making their first visit to Madison Square Garden in more than three years as they play the first of two games against the New York Rangers this season. The teams haven't met since the Rangers won 3-2 in overtime at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 20, 2011.

Big story: The Rangers expected to pile up some points on their nine-game homestand, but it hasn't happened yet. New York has had two days off since a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets dropped them to 0-3-1 during their long stay at MSG. The Flames come to New York with back-to-back overtime victories, including one against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Flames: Calgary has won both games since the Flames shook up their front office Thursday morning, firing general manager Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod, with Brian Burke taking over on an interim basis. One player doing his best to make an impression on a new boss who values "truculence" is 5-foot-7 forward Paul Byron, who assisted on Chris Butler's OT goal on Thursday and did the same on Matt Stajan's overtime winner in Buffalo after scoring the tying goal in the third period.

"Right now he's flying, he's smart with the puck and he's giving us great minutes on penalty-killing," coach Bob Hartley said. He's finding ways to spend Christmas in Calgary."

Rangers: Coach Alain Vigneault put his team through a full-team practice Saturday in an effort to shake his club out of the doldrums that have dropped the Rangers to sixth place in the Metropolitan Division.

Vigneault said Henrik Lundqvist will be back in goal against the Flames. Lundqvist was lifted in the first period on Thursday after allowing three goals on 13 shots.

"Hank's our best player, he's been the best player for the New York Rangers for quite some time now," Vigneault said. "There's no doubt in anyone's mind here when they talk about the Rangers and for us to win games and have success we need for our best player to be on top of his game. And he's the guy so he's going to play."

Who's hot: Byron has a goal and two assists in Calgary's past two games; he's been involved in three of the Flames' four goals. … Brad Richards, the Rangers' top scorer with 25 points, has assists in New York's past two games and five points in the past five games.

Injury report: Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman (broken hand) won't be back until the new year. ... The Rangers are missing forward Ryan Callahan (knee) and defenseman Marc Staal (concussion), but will get center Derick Brassard back after he missed the game against Columbus with a lower-body injury.

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