Rangers @ Calgary
Pengrowth Saddledome, 10 pm
Rangers Record: 10 - 6 - 1
Flames Record: 9 - 4 - 1
When the Rangers visited the Edmonton Oilers a couple nights ago, it was as near to a must-win game as possible this early in the season.
Having gotten the job done, the Rangers face another "must" for tonight as they visit Calgary, they must play consistent.
Steve Valiquette will get the start again as Henrik Lundqvist needed another game for maintenance especially since the Rangers won't play again until Thursday.
The line combinations appear to be:
Vinny Prospal - Brandon Dubinsky - Marian Gaborik
Chris Higgins - Chris Drury - Ryan Callahan
Enver Lisin - Artem Anisimov - Ales Kotalik
Sean Avery - Brian Boyle - Dane Byers
This is also the first meeting between the two teams following Avery's disparaging remarks to Dion Phaneuf about a previous girlfriend.
Both teams have played it down, as well as both players.
For Calgary, the offense has relied on the play of captain Jarome Iginla who has 16 points in 14 games. In addition to Iginla, a pleasant surprise for the Flames has been the play of the young Rene Bourque, who has 16 points as well.
The defense has stepped up for the Flames as well, with Phaneuf leading the offensive charge from the backend with 10 points. Robyn Regehr has complemented Phaneuf with eight points.
However, depth has been a question for Calgary early on. Former Rangers Nigel Dawes and Frederick Sjostrom have contributed, but not consistently. Dawes is also -6 on the year.
And the Flames' biggest acquisition in Jay Bouwmeester has not paid off, just yet. Bouwmeester has seven points and has been unable to capture the two-way play that made him a standout in Florida.
Check back tomorrow for postgame analysis on BlueshirtBulletinPlus.com