NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 6th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (19-33-6) at New York Rangers (31-23-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot New York Rangers will try to extend their
longest winning streak of the season to five games when they host the Edmonton
Oilers in Thursday's battle at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers have earned four straight victories and the current winning streak
gives New York wins in seven of nine and 10 of its past 13 games. The
Blueshirts have won three of the four tilts during their recent hot streak by
three or more goals and are outscoring the opposition by an 18-6 margin during
New York hasn't won five in a row since the 2011-12 season when it went 5-0
from Dec. 30-Jan. 10 of that campaign.
Despite their recent hot play, the second-place Rangers still find themselves
17 points behind Pittsburgh for the Metropolitan Division lead. New York is
three points in front of Columbus for the division's second spot and also
three clear of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Ryan Callahan played a standout role for the Rangers in their most recent win,
as the team captain shook off recent trade rumors to score a pair of first-
period goals that set the tone in Tuesday's 5-1 home rout of the Colorado
Callahan, mentioned as a possible candidate to be moved prior to the upcoming
trade deadline due to his unrestricted free agent status at season's end, also
added an assist on Brad Richards' late tally to help the Rangers record their
longest win streak of the season.
Richards and Derick Brassard each posted a goal and assist and Anton Stralman
also lit the lamp for New York. Henrik Lundqvist did his part as well between
the pipes, turning back 27-of-28 shots in the triumph.
"We had a real strong start," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault remarked.
"Obviously we were meeting a team that was tired and we were fresh. It was
their third game in four nights, but we came out the way I thought we needed
to come out and that was a determining factor tonight."
The Rangers, who are 14-13-3 at MSG this season, will try to complete a three-
game homestand tonight with a perfect record. New York will play its final
tilt before the Olympic break Friday night in Pittsburgh.
The Oilers, who currently are in last place in the West, have won four of
their last five games and recently posted a 3-2 regulation decision in
After losing 4-0 in Boston on Saturday to begin its four-game road trip, a
swing that will carry the club into the Olympic break, the Oilers bounced back
with Monday's win over the Sabres. Matt Hendricks scored the winner in the
third period to help Edmonton edge Buffalo at First Niagara Center.
Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz also scored for the Oilers, while Ilya Bryzgalov
stopped 42 shots in the win.
"He played great because we put him behind the eight ball a lot with all the
penalties we took and shots we gave up," said Schultz of Bryzgalov. "He really
came up big several times tonight."
The Oilers went 0-for-5 on the power play, but killed off five of Buffalo's
six chances with the extra man.
Ben Scrivens is expected to be back between the pipes for the Oilers on
Thursday. Scrivens is 2-3-0 with a 2.21 goals against average and .944 save
percentage in five games with Edmonton since coming over last month in a trade
with Los Angeles. The 27-year-old netminder set an NHL record for saves in a
regular-season shutout with 59 stops in a 3-0 win over San Jose on Jan. 29,
but he yielded four goals on 41 shots in Saturday's setback in Boston.
Edmonton improved to 9-19-4 as the visiting team this season. The Oilers will
close their pre-Olympic schedule with Friday's game in New Jersey.
The Oilers have won three of the last five meetings in the series with the
Rangers overall, but New York has taken two of three and six of the last eight
encounters in the Big Apple. The last time Edmonton visited MSG was on Nov.
14, 2010, when the Rangers picked up a victory with an 8-2 rout.
02/06 10:58:50 ET