A perfect four-game road trip has the New York Rangers riding high as they return home to face the Calgary Flames on Monday. The Blueshirts lead the Metropolitan Division with 9 points (4-1-1).
To cap their ideal trip — the first of at least four games in which they won all of them since February 2015 — the Rangers claimed a thrilling 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. They trailed 2-0 with fewer than six minutes remaining before scoring three times in a span of 3:20.
Rangers have momentum heading into two game homestand
“We’re starting to show we have that never-give-up mentality,” said forward Barclay Goodrow, who netted the game-winner in Ottawa. “Obviously, we would like to put ourselves in a better position heading into the third, but the resiliency that we did show in kind of forgetting about the first two (periods) and starting the third like it was a fresh game, it’s pretty good to see. Nice to know that we have a lot of character in the room.”
The Rangers, who are off to their best start since the 2009-10 season and sit atop the potent Metropolitan Division, struggled in one area to kick off the campaign, the power play, but Chris Kreider’s man-advantage marker cued the comeback.
More positive news could be around the corner. Forward Kaapo Kakko might return to the lineup for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on the first game of the road trip. And Ryan Strome practiced for the first time today since entering COVID protocol over a week ago.
“We’ll know more tomorrow with the protocols, they’re day-to-day,” Gerard Gallant said. “I can’t say they’ll play tomorrow for sure yet or not. Hopefully there’s a chance for both of them but I’m not sure.”
Flames clicking coming into the Garden
The Flames hit the Big Apple riding a two-game winning streak — their first victories of the season after dropping their first couple of clashes. Thanks to Elias Lindholm’s third goal of the game, Calgary regrouped after blowing a three-goal lead to beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Saturday.
After a dominant opening period, the Flames struggled in the second period and saw their lead evaporate, but managed to lock down defensively before netting the winner.
“It’s a process for a lot of these guys to learn how to play the right way,” coach Darryl Sutter said. “You’re going to see those pockets here and there, and you’re going to suffer through it, but you’ve got to learn how to manage (it).”
Lindholm has scored in all four of Calgary’s games to kick off the season and has six goals already.
“He’s been great for us,” said forward Johnny Gaudreau, who set up Lindholm’s game-winning tally. “He’s got a great shot, finds that open spot in the slot and we try to hit him as much as we can. Just a great player and excited to be playing with him.”
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–Field Level Media