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DUCKS (11-3-1) at RANGERS (6-7-0)
TV: RDS, TSN2, NBCSN, MSG
Last 10: Anaheim 7-2-1; New York 5-5-0
Season series: The Ducks and Rangers most recently met at Madison Square Garden two years ago yesterday (Nov. 3, 2011), a 2-1 Rangers shootout win. Tonight marks the final contest of the season series between the two clubs as Anaheim’s 6-0 shutout over the Rangers on Oct. 10 were the most goals the club had scored in a home opener. The game also served as the largest margin of victory all-time in a home opener. Jonas Hiller recorded the 17th shutout of his career, while newcomer Jakob Silfverberg scored two goals and Bryan Allen and Sami Vatanen recorded franchise-tying +5 ratings. Tonight marks Anaheim’s first Monday contest of the season. The club went 7-2-2 in Monday contests last season (.727 points percentage). Anaheim owns a 15-6-5 record vs. the Rangers and a 6-4-3 record at MSG.
Big story: The Ducks are among the NHL elite so far and have been nearly as impressive as the visiting team as they have been at Honda Center. Anaheim wraps up an eight-game, 15-day road trip Monday night at Madison Square Garden, its longest of the season, where it will try for its 11th point out of a possible 12 in its past six games. The Rangers continue with a four-game homestand and seek to extend their current winning streak to four.
Ducks: Even the hottest teams in the league are susceptible to a reality check, and this occurred for Anaheim when it was defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the first two games of its current road trip. The Ducks responded by winning three of their next four, and, following a slow start Saturday in Buffalo, the team scored five straight goals after trailing 1-0. The scoring attack was balanced with forwards Corey Perry and Emerson Etem scoring two goals each to help the Ducks to the 6-3 victory.
"Our goal each and every game is to have a good start, and I don’t think we did that [Saturday night]," Etem said. "Couple things we need to work on, but I’m proud of how the guys battled back."
Rangers: The line of Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarrello and Chris Kreider stepped up once again Saturday, as Stepan scored a hat trick for his first three goals of the season and the three Rangers combined for nine points in a 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. But coach Alain Vigneault wasn't impressed with the young line's performance early in the game and sat them for most of the opening period, despite the trio totaling 15 points over their last three games.
"I liked the way they responded [to the benching]," Vigneault said. "I challenged them and they responded the right way. They went on the ice and had some real solid puck-possession shifts."
Who's Hot: Perry has three goals and three assists in his past five games for the Ducks, and Devante Smith-Pelly has points in four of his last six games (1g/4a). ... Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has won two straight games and has a 1.00 goals-against average in his past three starts for the Rangers.
Injury Report: Ducks forward Saku Koivu has been symptom-free for several days from a concussion suffered on October 27 in Columbus, and is skating. Teemu Selanne (oral surgery) is expected to miss a few weeks. Matt Beleskey (thumb) is hoping to return to the lineup for the team's next road trip beginning November 12 in Florida, while defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) is still hoping for a January return. Also on IR are Jakob Silfverberg (hand) and goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body). ... Rangers forward Dominic Moore (oblique) is out for at least another week. Captain Ryan Callahan (thumb) and forward Rick Nash (head) are on injured reserve.
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