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|CGY||2||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers have created some momentum on their extensive stretch of road games to open the season.
The Calgary Flames are trying to do the same with a lengthy homestand.
Lundqvist could be back in net as the Rangers try to build on their best performance so far when they face the Flames for the only time this season Thursday night.
New York (1-1-2) is playing its first seven games on the road due to renovations to Madison Square Garden. That stretch spans two continents and 10 time zones, as the Rangers lost their first two games after regulation in Sweden before returning to North America.
They beat Vancouver 4-0 on Tuesday for their first victory despite being outshot 40-19. Lundqvist recorded his 36th shutout while four different players scored in the third period.
"Henrik gave us an opportunity and we found a way," said coach John Tortorella, who admitted the win was more important than how the Rangers got it. "Absolutely. Just to feel good about yourself for a day or two. The guys are smart enough to know we've got things to work on."
The Flames (2-3-0) find themselves in a similar situation after scoring twice midway through the third to rally for a 2-1 win over Edmonton in the opener of a season-high six-game homestand Tuesday.
"By no means was it pretty, but we'll take it," said left wing Alex Tanguay, whose first goal of the season was Tuesday's winner. "Hopefully we can build a little bit of confidence from the last seven, eight minutes."
Tanguay has five points, tying him with Olli Jokinen for the team lead.
Jokinen has a point in each of the first five games. He's facing the Rangers for the first time since missing the final shootout attempt for them in a loss to Philadelphia on the final day of the 2009-10 regular season, sending the Flyers to the playoffs while New York missed out.
Similar to Lundqvist for the Rangers, Miikka Kiprusoff's play tends to have a major influence on Calgary's success. He's allowed one goal in each of the Flames' victories, stopping 24 of 25 shots Tuesday.
Kiprusoff has won three of his last four meetings with New York, posting a 1.51 goals-against average.
The Rangers, however, beat him 2-1 at home on Nov. 22 in the only meeting last season. They've lost their last two visits to Calgary, where they haven't won since Nov. 14, 2002.
Lundqvist, who led the NHL with 11 shutouts last season, might get a chance to change that, but he's dropped two of three matchups with a 3.02 GAA. That could prompt Tortorella to start Martin Biron, who is 3-0-0 with a 1.64 GAA in his last four games versus the Flames, including a 31-save effort opposite Kiprusoff last November.
Rangers center Brad Richards has one point in each game this season, giving him a team-high four. He has four goals and five assists in eight games at Calgary.
|Oct 20 '11||NYR 3 at CGY 2 - OT||R. McDonagh|
|M. Del Zotto||5||0||1||1||+4||2||0||0|