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Rangers Begin Four-Game Road Trip in Calgary

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

CALGARY -- The Rangers begin their four-game road trip tonight against the struggling Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Blueshirts will have four new forward lines as head coach Alain VIgneault said the team was "a little bit off" the last couple of games, including Tuesday night's loss against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden.

Derek Stepan will center Chris Kreider and Rick Nash while Mika Zibanejad will be between Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich. Vigneault did not split up Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller, who have been together nearly all the season, but have moved Jimmy Vesey to the left wing. Brandon Pirri will center the fourth line with Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner.

The defense will also see some slight changes, as Vigneault said he wants to get a look at Brady Skjei on the right side, which he played a portion of last season with Hartford, as well as in the playoffs with the Rangers. He's set to play alongside Marc Staal, while Kevin Klein shifts down to play with Nick Holden. The top pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi remains in tact.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start in net against the Flames after taking the loss in relief Tuesday night. Lundqvist is 4-3 all-time against the Flames, and has three of those four wins in his last four appearances against Calgary.

Calgary enters the game on a bit of a slide, losing five of its last six games, including a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars Thursday night at home.

Michael Frolik is leading the way offensively with five goals and five assists in 15 games for the Flames.

Flames star Johnny Gaudreau is off to a bit of a slow start after missing training camp due to contract negotations. The forward has four goals and six assists in 15 games this season, but is coming off a two-goal performance against the Stars Thursday night. He's a minus-10 on the season.

Like Guadreau, Sean Monahan is off to a rough start as well with just four goals and two assists in 15 contests.

In goal, Brian Elliott is off to a bumpy start in his Flames tenure. He's 3-7 with a 3.30 GAA and a .885 SV % in 10 starts with Calgary in his first season with the club. He's winless in his last four starts.

Rangers at Flames

10 pm at Scotiabank Saddledome

Live Coverage begins on MSG+ at 9:30 PM

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