Scouting Report: New York Rangers
CALGARY, AB -- The New York Rangers are trending in the right direction at just the right time.
The Rangers, who are winners of five straight heading into Friday’s tilt against the Calgary Flames, have not only solidified themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, they’re looking to lock up the second spot in the Metropolitan. They currently sit three points up on the Philadelphia Flyers. New York currently holds a three-point edge, though the Flyers hold two games at hand.
This Season: 15-17-1, 31 points (12th in East)
Last Season: 26-18-4, 56 points (6th in East)
Notable Injuries: Forward Chris Kreider (hand) and defenceman John Moore (concussion) are out for New York. Forward Daniel Carcillo missed Wednesday’s game with the flu but is expected back.
Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-1
Lundqvist has helped fuel the Rangers’ recent success, allowing two goals or fewer in seven of his past 10 games, posting an 8-2-0 record with a 1.70 goals-against average and .941 save percentage during the stretch. He's also won five straight decisions. Overall, the 32-year-old is seventh in the NHL in wins with 30 and second with five shutouts this season.
St. Louis, acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for Ryan Callahan, a 2014 second round pick and a 2015 first round pick, has had a forgetful start in a dozen games for the Rangers. The 38-year-old is still searching for his first goal and has just three assists in his time with New York. He’s gone four straight games without a point, too.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
A bit of a surprise for the Rangers this season, Zuccarello sits tied with Derek Stepan for tops in Rangers scoring with 50 points in 69 games. The 5-foot-7, 179-pound left winger is in just his fourth season in the NHL and has already established new marks for goals (15) and assists (35) this year.
McDonagh is quickly solidifying himself in the upper echelon of defencemen in the League. The 24-year-old, acquired in the deal that sent Scott Gomez to the Montreal Canadiens back in 2009, is 11th among blueliners in scoring this season with 43 points. His 14 goals places him fifth among rearguards, too.
Nash has had an up-and-down year with the Rangers this season. The former first overall pick has just 35 points in a year that has kept him to 57 games to date. Still, Nash leads New York in goals with 23, the 10th consecutive season he’s hit that plateau.