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Rangers at Flames preview

Kreider of New York to play 500th NHL game; Calgary looks to end home losing streak

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

RANGERS (19-16-4) at FLAMES (20-17-5)

9 p.m. ET; SNF, MSG, NHL.TV


The Game

Chris Kreider will play in his 500th NHL game when the New York Rangers play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Kreider, the No. 19 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, has 296 points (145 goals, 151 assists) in 499 games. He has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak, and has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in his past 11 games.

The Rangers are 3-2-0 in their past five games after having one win in the previous five (1-3-1).

The Flames, who are 0-4-1 in the past five games at home, have lost two in a row and are 2-5-1 in their past eight games following a season-long seven-game winning streak.


Players to watch

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin was named the NHL's Third Star for December with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 14 games, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in a three-game point streak to end the month.  

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past six games.


They said it

"We're a hard-working team, guys that have trust in each other, guys that are willing to do their roles. Everyone's buying in. That's a key to a team, everybody's got to buy in to do their job. We stick to it and everybody does their job we're pretty successful." -- Rangers forward Brett Howden

"It's a big thing for us and something we talked about early in the season and something we want to get back to. It's four or five games now we've dropped at home. We want it to be a building where teams come in and know it's going to be a tough night and know they're going to play a real solid team that works really hard. We have to get back to that." -- Flames forward Mikael Backlund


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Brett Howden -- Filip Chytil -- Kaapo Kakko

Brendan Smith -- Greg McKegg -- Micheal Haley

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Steven Fogarty

Injured: Libor Hajek (knee), Brendan Lemieux (hand)


Flames projected lineup

Matthew Tkachuk -- Elias Lindholm -- Andrew Mangiapane

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Tobias Rieder

Sam Bennett -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Zac Rinaldo, Mark Jankowski, Michael Stone

Injured: None


Status report

The Rangers held an optional morning skate. …Talbot, who played 57 games for New York from 2013-15, will start for Calgary. … Brodie is expected to return after missing one game because of illness.  


Stat pack

Zibanejad has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his past nine games. …Strome has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past six games. … DeAngelo has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak. … Monahan has three points (two goals, one assist) in a three-game point streak.

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