Game #6 Preview - New York Rangers vs Calgary Flames

Beat this man and you beat the Rangers. Unfortunately he has just come off a huge 40 save shut-out in Vancouver. Still if the Flames can find a way to get past him they can snag two points. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The battle of the Henriks is tonight. Henrik Lundqvist takes on Henrik Karlsson of the Flames. They are both between the pipes and they are both from Sweden but that is where the similarites end. 

Karlsson is coming off a forgettable start in St. Louis where the Flames took a loss. Lundqvist is coming off a very strong 40 save game against the Canucks where he posted a shut-out and practically won the game himself. 

I watched the last half of the game and it amazes me how deep Lundqvist plays in his net while still making amazing save after amazing save. The Rangers are also sporting Brad Richards, although few folks around here besides me and Jay Feaster probably wanted to sign him, he will be a good one to watch. 

That kid who has the distinction of being the only 1st round pick since the lock-out to refuse to sign with the team who drafted him will be in the Rangers 5-6 D spots.  

I am not sure if I am more down on this game because I watched the touch and go Flames win over the Oilers and then immediately flipped to watch the Rangers / Canucks game and it scared me or what. The dramatic difference in play levels was impossible to ignore. 

The Rangers, like the Blues and Leafs are not a team I personally consider elite. They are a team you could see in the playoffs as much as out and for this reason I expect the Flames to compete with them. It is just what we have seen out of the Flames so far is not up to par aside from the Joker line. The Flames can play a lot better and if they hope to beat the Rangers tonight, they have to. 

Anticipated Game Style 

The Rangers are not exactly roaring out of the gate either but based on their last game I expect a close checking low scoring affair on them anyway. The Flames even in their last minute win over the Oilers looked clunky, not in sync.

If the Flames get down early, tighten the seat belt because Brad Richards and crew may go to work. The Flames went into a zombie walk in front of Karlsson in St. Louis after he let in a couple. A pattern they have shown in front of every goalie not named Kipper for years now. 

One on One

Henrik Karlsson vs Henrik Lundqvist

Yep - Battle of the Hanks and I think it sums up the David and Goliath nature of this game. If Karlsson can shine early it may pump up the Flames to maybe get one or two past Lundqvist which they need to do as soon as possible. 

Alive in the Last Five

Flames - Olli Jokinen - 1G 4A (-1)  / Alex Tanguay - 1G 4A (-2) / Miikka Kiprusoff  (2W-2L)   0.926 SV%

Rangers (4GP) - Brad Richards - 1G 3A (+2) / Henrik Lundqvist (1W-1L-2OTL) 0.947 SV% 1 SO

Magic 8-Ball

Rangers get 70% on this one because of their last game. I give the Flames 30% odds based on previous play.

Anticipated Roster (subject to change by game time)

New York Rangers

Forwards

Derek Stepan

Brad Richards

Marian Gaborik

Brandon Dubinsky

Artem Anisimov

Ryan Callahan

Ruslan Fedotenko

Brian Boyle

Brandon Prust

Mike Rupp

Kris Newbury

Erik Christensen

Defence

Ryan McDonagh

Dan Girardi

Jeff Woywitka

Steve Eminger

Michael Del Zotto

Tim Erixon

Starting Goaltender

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

 

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Alex Tanguay

David Moss

Jarome Iginla

Curtis Glencross

Olli Jokinen

Lee Stempniak

Niklas Hagman

Brendan Morrison

Rene Bourque

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

Matt Stajan

Tim Jackman

Defence

Jay Bouwmeester

Chris Butler

Mark Giordano

Scott Hannan

Cory Sarich

Derek Smith

 

Starting Goaltender

Miikka Kiprusoff

Henrik Karlsson

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