New York Rangers long trip continues versus inconsistent Calgary Flames
The New York Rangers will play game two of their five-game Western Conference road trip when they take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Interestingly, the puck drop will be at 9:45 PM ET, an odd start time for the average late-night hockey game.
However, fans can rejoice as all 32 NHL teams will be in action on Tuesday night, with each game starting at 15-minute intervals to maximize hockey-watching opportunities. Additionally, for those fans with access to ESPN, the network will run a similar program like the “NFL Red Zone,” where everyone can stay updated with every save and every goal throughout the historic night.
Meanwhile, the Rangers kicked off the most extended road trip of the season with a 4-1 thumping over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday night. Artemi Panarin collected his first two-goal game of the season and Filip Chytil had three points (all assists) to set a new career-high for points in a game.
During the post-game, Chytil described how good the line, with Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, played, saying: “We try to keep talking to each other. All three of us are trying to play our game, but we’ve got to communicate, and it was good. Good game for us today.”
Currently, the Blueshirts are in Alberta for two contests against the Flames on Tuesday and the Edmonton Oilers (without Connor McDavid) on Thursday. After five games, New York has a 3-2-0 record and sits one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (3-2-0) vs. Calgary Flames (2-3-1)
Date/Time: October 24, 2023 at 9:45 PM ET
Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome
Radio: 98.7 FM ESPN
Note: Subject to change, updated for each game
New York Rangers projected lineup
Although Jonathan Quick picked up his first win as a member of the Rangers on Saturday, all indications point to Igor Shesterkin returning to the crease tonight. Interestingly, he’s never beaten the Flames before, posting a 0-2 record in two starts with a .851 save percentage (SV%) and 5.50 goals-against average (GAA).
However, Calgary is struggling this season and recently got blown out by the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Sunday. Despite boasting a lineup with Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, and Nazem Kadri, they have scored only one more goal than New York (16-15) but have surrendered the third most goals in the league with 23.
Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
Panarin – Chytil – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Trocheck – Wheeler
Goodrow – Bonino – Vesey
Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider
Note: The Rangers will hold a pre-game skate at 1:30 PM ET at Scotiabank Saddledome. Check back for updates.
New York Rangers vs Calgary Flames
Statistically, the Rangers have given up the fewest shots per game with just 119 through five games, with opponents averaging 23.8 a contest. However, they are about to face the team that averages 33.6 a game for the second most shots in the league with 202.
Despite the numbers, the Flames tend to fire most of their attempts on goal from the perimeter, which only generates a few high-danger scoring opportunities. Even though they already have 12 players with at least ten shots, Calgary has only tallied 16 goals, which equals a 7.9% shooting percentage (26th overall). Interestingly, that’s two total percentage points less than New York, which is 9.9% (14th overall).
Although this will be the 125th meeting between the two clubs, the leading scorers for each team are new to the matchup. As a former member of the Florida Panthers, Huberdeau has 24 points in 27 games against New York, while Blake Wheeler, who spent most of his career with the Winnipeg Jets, leads all current Rangers players with 31 points in 35 games.
Overall, tonight’s game will come down to goaltending. Despite posting a .879 SV% and 3.14 GAA, Shesterkin should be able to outduel a streaky Jacob Markström, whose .905 SV% and 2.75 GAA don’t account for the soft-momentum killing goals he continues to let in late in games. Ultimately, the Flames and Markström will start strong but haven’t shown they have the kill instinct to bury a team late in games.