Rangers, Flames to face off, each looking to bounce back

NHL Hockey

While the Calgary Flames were moderately pleased for getting a point in their ninth straight game, the New York Rangers hardly took any solace in earning a point against one of the NHL’s hottest teams.

Two teams coming off disappointing overtime losses get together Saturday night when the Flames host the Rangers.

Calgary heads into the second meeting between the teams 6-0-3 in its past nine games since starting the season with a 5-2 loss at Edmonton. The Flames scored 25 goals in a six-game winning streak that featured five road wins, including a 5-1 romp in New York on Oct. 25. Since last Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, they have settled for overtime losses to the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars.

On Tuesday, the Flames faced a one-goal deficit through the first 20 minutes, tied it early in the third before taking a 3-2 loss to Nashville. Two nights later, the Flames trailed by one goal after the opening 20 minutes, fell behind early in the third, tied the game late in regulation and took a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Nikita Zadorov scored the tying goal after being a healthy scratch for the previous five games, but the rest of the game hardly thrilled Calgary coach Darryl Sutter.

“If you don’t have an A game, you better have a good B game. We had some guys that didn’t tonight have either,” Sutter said. “We earned the point by those guys that made those hard plays to get us the point. We’re not going to win unless everybody is on top of their game.”

Sutter’s assessment came on a night when the Flames totaled 33 shots, giving them 73 in the two overtime losses.

When the Flames faced the Rangers, there was never a doubt about two points. They held a two-goal lead through 40 minutes and scored three times in the third period while getting 37 shots on goal.

New York is hoping to avoid talking about a loss or salvaging a point for a third straight game. The Rangers pushed their road winning streak to five games when they opened their second four-game trip with Sunday’s 3-1 victory over the expansion Seattle Kraken but are coming off two highly frustrating outcomes.

On Tuesday, the Rangers had a two-goal lead, but lost the lead in the opening 5:19 of the third period before taking a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks. On Friday, New York blew a three-goal lead, regained a one-goal lead and then took a 6-5 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Mika Zibanejad scored twice after Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil and Kevin Rooney tallied. Zibanejad’s two goals gave the Rangers a 4-1 lead in the second period and a 5-4 lead 7:18 into the third, but New York allowed the tying goal to Connor McDavid with 2:59 remaining in regulation and the game-winner to Leon Draisaitl 3:27 into overtime.

“Yeah disappointed, no doubt,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said after his team was outshot 17-4 after the second period. “The way it happened was that we played a great 35 minutes, and then we sort of started watching them a little bit.”

Alexandar Georgiev was in goal Friday, but Igor Shesterkin will likely draw the start. Shesterkin helped the Rangers get a point Tuesday with 13 of his 33 saves on six Vancouver power plays and is 5-1-2 with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage through his first eight games, with the one regulation loss coming against Calgary.

–Field Level Media

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