NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 30th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (2-5-2) at New York Rangers (9-2-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will take aim at a fourth consecutive victory when they welcome the Atlanta Thrashers for tonight's battle at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers currently lead the NHL with 19 points on the year and have won three straight games on the heels of a two-game losing streak.
New York's most recent triumph came on the road Monday against the rival New York Islanders. Chris Drury scored his first two goals of the season and Michal Rozsival added two assists, as the Rangers bested the Islanders, 4-2, at Nassau Coliseum.
Drury is off to a slow start to the season and now has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 12 games. He had 25 goals and 58 points while playing in all 82 games during his first season with the Rangers in 2007-08.
Scott Gomez and Ryan Callahan also lit the lamp for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist halted 28-of-30 shots.
Lundqvist has been superb in 10 games this season, posting a 7-2-1 record to go with a 1.99 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
Beginning with tonight's contest the Rangers are playing three of their next four games at the Garden, where they are 4-2-0 as the host this year. New York is officially credited with five home wins, but one of those tests was against Tampa Bay while the teams opened the 2008-09 campaign with a two-game series in Prague.
The Thrashers, meanwhile, will try to rebound after getting blown away by the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, 7-0, on Tuesday. Antero Niittymaki stopped 24 shots for the shutout and remained perfect against Atlanta in his career, improving to 10-0-0 versus the Thrashers. It was the 11th straight time the Flyers defeated Atlanta.
Kari Lehtonen fell to 0-7-0 lifetime against Philadelphia as he was lit up for all seven goals on 31 shots for the Thrashers.
The blowout loss was the fourth straight setback for Atlanta, which last won on October 18 with a shootout victory over Buffalo. Dating back to the end of last season, the Thrashers have lost 24 of their last 31 games and have a 7-18-6 record over that span.
Tonight's test marks the first of two straight on the road against the Atlantic Division for the Thrashers. Atlanta, which is 0-2-2 as the visitor this year, will visit New Jersey on Saturday night.
The Rangers have won two straight Atlanta, but the Thrashers have still taken seven of the last 10 regular-season matchups. Atlanta has been defeated in each of its previous two stops in the Big Apple.
10/30 10:48:31 ET