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Rangers Host McDavid, Oilers at MSG

Blueshirts Look for Third Straight Win

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The Rangers look for its third straight win to close out the current three-game homestand against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

New York has won its last two games over Tampa Bay and St. Louis by a combined score of 11-1. The Rangers (7-3, 14 points) topped the Blues, 5-0, Tuesday night behind a goal and two assists from rookie Jimmy Vesey. In total, five different Rangers scored and Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves for his first shutout of the season.

Vesey is red-hot right now, with five goals and three assists in his last six games. His six goals are tied with Toronto's Auston Matthews and Winnipeg's Patrik Laine for most by a rookie, while his nine points overall is third among first-year players.

Speaking of Lundqvist, the netminder is expected to get the start tonight against the Oilers, a team he had three wins in eight career games, including one shutout. Lundqvist enters the game with a 5-3 record to go along with 2.14 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.

Chris Kreider returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing four games and immediately made his presence felt. Kreider had a pair of assists to pick up right where he left off before his injury, and now has nine points in six games this season.

While early, the Rangers find themselves at the top of the Metropolitan Division and second in the Eastern Conference with 14 points. It's plus-18 goal differential is tops in the NHL and is the highest in the franchise's 90-year history.

The Oilers come to New York coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday night. They've been the early surprise this season in the NHL, and are off to a 7-2-1 start, which is tops in the Western Conference.

Thursday marks the Madison Square Garden debut of McDavid, considered by most to be the next great NHL super star. Thus far, McDavid has not disappointed. After scoring 48 points in 45 games last season as a rookie, McDavid - who missed last year's Oilers visit with an injury - is off to a blazing start as a sophomore, with five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 10 games, tied for second-most in the NHL.

Former Boston Bruin Milan Lucic - in his first season with Edmonton - has seven points in 10 games, good enough for second on the team.

Former Ranger Cam Talbot is expected to start for the Oilers. Talbot is off to an impressive start himself with seven wins in his first 10 starts to go along with a 2.14 GAA and a .932 SV %. 

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