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Rangers renew rivalry with Ducks on U.S. soil

by Dave Lozo
DUCKS (5-5-2) at RANGERS (4-3-3)


Last 10:
Anaheim 4-4-2

Season series: This is the second time these inter-conference foes will meet, but it will be their first game on U.S. soil. The Ducks came away with a 2-1 victory in Stockholm in each team's second game of the season.

Big story: The Ducks are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Capitals on Tuesday. Leading by a goal with less than a minute play, Nicklas Backstrom tied the game, then won it during the extra session. For the Rangers, Sean Avery is back with the team. However, he'll be watching from the press box. The Rangers beat the Sharks 5-2 on Monday and decided against adding him to the lineup after the convincing victory.

Team scope:

Things are not going well for Anaheim of late. They've lost five of six, and four of five on their seven-game road trip. After scoring three goals or fewer in four straight, the Ducks finally reached four goals against the Caps, but Jonas Hiller was shaky in allowing five in the loss.

"I'm sure some are just unlucky bounces," said Hiller, who made 35 saves. "In the end, I still can't be happy. Normally those things happen if you're not sharp enough."

Coming home after a month-long road trip that featured stops in Europe and Western Canada, the Rangers dropped two straight at Madison Square Garden. But they delivered their best 60-minute effort of the season in a 5-2 victory against the Sharks on Monday.

Ryan Callahan scored twice, while Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan finally got their first goals of the season.

"The thing I liked most is that everybody contributed," Tortorella said. "Arty scores a goal, Steps scores a goal and Erik Christensen makes a couple of really good plays. We had one really bad shift when we couldn't get guys off and it cost us a goal, but other than that, I thought it was pretty good."

Who's hot:
Teemu Selanne, at 41, has been the Ducks' best player this season. After going without a point in the Ducks' first three games, he has 5 goals and 9 assists in the past nine games. He had 2 goals and 2 assists against the Caps. … Callahan had 4 goals and 1 assist in the past four games, including three points against the Sharks.

Stat pack:
Selanne, at 41 years, 121 days, became the oldest player to score 4 points in an NHL game since Jan. 15, 1972, when Tim Horton had 4 assists.

Injury report: Ducks left wing Jason Blake won't be back any time soon, as he's out with a wrist laceration. … The Rangers are still without Michael Rupp, who is dealing with a nagging knee injury.

Puck Drop:
"We're all here because we want to play for the Rangers," Avery said at practice Wednesday. "Everyone gets to make that decision at some point, and I love this team, I want to win, and I want to play as hard as I possibly can."

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