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Preview: Calgary Flames vs NY Rangers 3/2/18 (66/82): Rangers Have Given Up, Flames Are..Not Sure

NY has dropped 14 of their last 17 and the Flames are at the put up or shut up portion of their season.



Calgary Flames vs NY Rangers, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

The Flames make a quick stop at home to get some clean clothes and a home cooked meal before they hit the road again on Monday for 3 straight. The SELL! SELL! SELL! NY Rangers visit the Saddledome tonight as Calgary tries to snap a 2 game losing skid and get themselves back in the playoff hunt.

The Flames are at a critical juncture in the season in regards to the playoffs and the road ahead isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. The Flames have struggled since Mike Smith was shelved with a groin injury and David Rittich has hit a really rough patch. The guy that looked like the answer to the Flames backup goalie issues has struggled as a starter. He’s started 6 games in Smith’s absence and gone 1-4-1. Jon Gillies has fared better, going 2-1-0 when he has been handed the starter’s job.

The Rangers meanwhile have given up on 2017-18 and clearly moved on to next year. NY sits in the basement of the Metropolitan Division and their playoff hopes were abandoned weeks ago. The Rangers played the role of sellers at the trade deadline, dealing Rick Nash, Ryan Graves. Nick Holden, Michael Grabner, JT Miller, and Ryan McDonagh. Whew. That’s like half their lineup. Calgary is stop #2 on a trip through Western Canada with Edmonton waiting in the wings. The Rangers got a rare win in Vancouver, but prior to that NY had dropped 7 in a row and 14 of their last 17.

This will be the last time the Flames and Rangers meet this season with NY taking the first meeting 4-3 back on February 9th. The Flames are 5-5-0 in their last 10 at home when the Rangers visit the Saddledome.

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

NY Rangers Coverage: Blue Shirt Banter

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 Colorado Avalanche 5

Calgary HAD a 2 goal lead that evaporated like snow on a spring afternoon. Colorado scored 5 unanswered goals and sent the Flames into a penalty filled, downward spiral. No bueno. Here’s our recap and the highlights from

NY Rangers 6 Vancouver Canucks 5 (OT)

The Rangers pretty much traded everyone, had lost 7 in a row, but the Canucks were in a giving mood. Henrik Lundqvist would stop 50 of the 55 shots that came his way, just enough to get to OT where former Flames prospect John Gilmour would end it in OT on his 2nd goal of the season. Blue Shirt Banter has the recap and provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Mikael Backlund (C). Backlund has been one of the few Flames to find the back of the net lately. The Flames centre has 6 points in his last 5 games, including two multi point outings.

NY Rangers

Ryan Spooner (C). Newly acquired Spooner is enjoying his brief run with the Rangers. The former Bruins centre has 5 points in the two games he’s played with NY. Spooner played well in the two games he played against Calgary with Boston, but came up empty on the score sheet.

by Mark Parkinson