RANGERS (14-10-4) at FLAMES (17-13-2)
TV: MSG+, SNF
CALGARY -- The New York Rangers are rolling. They're focused on keeping it that way.
Winners of three in a row, the Rangers are looking for a three-game sweep of Western Canada at the expense of the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
"I'm really focused on our team and how we need to play," said coach Alain Vigneault, who has seen the Rangers earn wins against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers to start a four-game road trip that will conclude Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. "We did what we had to do in Edmonton. We played a real strong game in Vancouver. We're on a streak here of three wins and we need to put a streak together. It's a real tough conference and we need to focus on tonight and our game."
The Rangers' game has been working of late. Not only have they won three straight to match a season-high, they've also allowed six goals in seven wins spread over their past 10 games.
Stringing four wins in a row for the first time this season is at the top of the Rangers' agenda. They can find it against a Flames team that is returning to Calgary following a four-game road trip that yielded no points.
"They'll be desperate," said Rangers forward Lee Stempniak, who spent 160 games over parts of three seasons with the Flames. "They'll come out ready, especially coming off their road trip they want to have a good showing at home and get off the losing skid. We want to keep it going. We've had a good road trip so far. You want to make sure we get the three wins.
"It'll be a big challenge for us especially against a good team like this. We're ready."
The Flames, who have scored one goal in three of their past four games, will be ready as well.
"We don't want to start slipping," Flames center Matt Stajan said. "We've built a cushion and given it away and now we've got to get it back. Every game's a challenge. It's easy when you're winning and things are going your way. It's even more of a challenge with what we're facing now. We've got to respond.
"Every game's a challenge. We've got a big one tonight coming off a road trip we're not happy about. It's a good test for us and we're excited for it."
Here are the projected lineups:
Rick Nash - J.T. Miller - Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
Matt Hunwick - Kevin Klein
Scratched: John Moore
Injured: Derick Brassard (mumps)
Joe Colborne - Sean Monahan - David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau - Josh Jooris - Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross - Markus Granlund - Paul Byron
Mason Raymond - Matt Stajan - Lance Bouma
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz - Deryk Engelland
Scratched: Corey Potter, Brandon Bollig, Brian McGrattan
Injured: Sam Bennett (shoulder surgery), Mikael Backlund (abdomen), Ladislav Smid (upper body)
Status report: Hunwick is expected return to the lineup for the Rangers after being scratched for three straight games….Hartley hadn't finalized his roster at the time of the morning skate and could opt to insert Bollig in place of Raymond on Calgary's fourth line.
Who's hot: Nash is riding a career-high 10-game point streak, scoring six goals and adding six assists over that span. Lundqvist was named Third Star for last week after going 3-0-0 and allowing a total of four goals, a 1.30 goals-against average…Hudler has points in 10 of his past 13 games, including seven goals and eight assists.