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Rangers Can Clinch Playoffs With Win Over Ducks

Road Trip Continues in Anaheim

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

LOS ANGELES - The Rangers continue their three-game road trip through California tonight against the Anaheim Ducks with a playoff berth up for grabs.

Antti Raanta's 30 saves led New York to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night. Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash provided the offense in the team's NHL-leading 27th road win of the year. They're four shy of the NHL record of 31 road victories set by the Detroit Red Wings in 2005-06.

Sunday marks the return of Henrik Lundqvist, who has missed just under three weeks of action with a strained hip. Lundqvist served as the backup last night and will make his first start since March 7 against the Ducks. Lundqivst has wins in each of his last three games against the Ducks, and has allowed just four goals on 88 shots in those appearances.

J.T. Miller, meanwhile, has been the hottest Ranger against the Ducks as of late with points in four of the five games he's played against Anaheim in his career, including three multi-point games.

New York can clinch a playoff berth with any type of win against the Ducks. If they're successful, the Rangers would qualify for the postseason for the seventh consecutive season and 10th time in 11 years since the 2005-06 campaign. 

 The Ducks, meanwhile, find themselves in a three-way points tie for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Anaheim's 91 points is tied with San Jose and Edmonton, though they've played one fewer game than both teams.

Anaheim enters tonight's game on a three-game winning streak and is 7-2-1 in their last 10 contests. They topped Winnipeg, 3-1, Friday night. 

Captain Ryan Getzlaf is leading the team with 62 points in 67 games, and has 20 points in his last 15 games. Ryan Kesler has 51 points in 74 games, while young star Rickard Rakell leads the team with 32 goals in 63 games.

With No. 1 goaltender John Gibson on the mend, backup Jonathan Bernier has carried the load for the Ducks and has succeeded in doing so. He's 7-0-1 in his last eight games, including a 5-0-1 mark since Gibson was sidelined earlier this month. He's 17-7-3 with a 2.45 GAA and a .918 SV% overall this season.

The Ducks own the NHL's 21st overall power play at 17.8 percent, but have one of the strongest penalty kills, which is operating at 84.6 percent on the year, good enough for fifth.

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