At 7PM, the New York Rangers visit the Flames in the Scotiabank Saddledome. It will be their second and final meeting this season. Tonight's match closes a three game homestand for Calgary. They earned a 2-1 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday and lost to the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2 on Wednesday. They'll hit the road for a five game trip afterward. The Rangers have won five matches in a row, and with this match open a four game road trip, with stops in Edmonton on Sunday, Vancover on Tuesday, and Denver on Thursday.
The first time the Rangers faced the Flames this seasons was on December 15th, when the 15-17-1 Rangers hosted the 13-15-4 Flames in Madison Square Garden. Mikael Backlund (4), Curtis Glencross (6), and Sean Monahan (10) provided the offensive fireworks as the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime. Derek Stepan (6), Carl Hagelin (6), and Chris Kreider (8) scored for the Rangers. Despite successful shootout results for Joe Colborne, Lee Stempniak, and Paul Byron, Benoit Pouliot ended it in the seventh round against Karri Ramo (29 saves). Henrik Lundqvist (18 saves) earned the win for New York. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
Flames Captain Mark Giordano spoke later about the Flames shortcomings in overtime:
They had the 5-on-3 late and we did a real good job of killing it. I thought we were going to get some momentum there. We didn't execute good enough in overtime. We were a little bit stationary [on the 4-on-3]. We've got to move better. Their guys did a good job of blocking shots.
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Calgary dropped a close match in their last action, a 3-2 loss at home against the Anaheim Ducks. Brian McGrattan (4) and Jiri Hudler (16) lit the lamp for Calgary, while Nick Bonino (18), Mathieu Perrault (16) and Andrew Cogliano (22) scored for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller earned a 32 save win, while Karri Ramo was much better than the final score would indicate, finishing with 31 saves. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
McGrattan, who scored his 10th career goal in his 300th career NHL contest, spoke later:
That's the way you learn sometimes, too. You learn from tough losses. There's going to be games throughout the year where you're in the game and a couple lucky bounces with an open net and they get the win. Our group hasn't given up all year. We're in every game and work our butts off right until the end and that's a good sign.
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The Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1 on Wednesday night. Derek Dorsett (4), Ryan McDonagh (14), and Dominic Moore (6) scored for New York, while the Flyers only scored once, by Jakub Voracek with less than two minutes remaining. Steve Mason lost the game by allowing three goals on 29 shots, while Lundqvist was stellar in stopping 30-of-31 Flyers shots. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
Alain Vigneault showered praise on McDonagh's recent performance:
He's got to be getting some consideration for the Norris [Trophy] the way he's playing offensively and defensively. He's playing against the top line, he's defending extremely well, and when he gets an opportunity to go on the offense like tonight, he does. He's been one of our best players this year.
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Gametime: 7PM MT
Season Series: New York leads 1-0 with a 4-3 shootout win on December 15th.
All-Time Series: Calgary is 53-35-20 against the Rangers all-time, for a .583 points percentage.
This Date in History: As a franchise, the Flames have posted a 10-6-3 on all March 28th's since 1973.
Calgary Flames: 30-36-7, 67 points, .459, sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, and 26th in the NHL. Last Five: W-L-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 0.000007%
New York Rangers: 41-29-4, 86 points, .581, second in the Metropolitan Division, fifth in the Eastern Conference, 11th in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-W-W-W. Playoff Odds: 99.4%