Rangers aim to build momentum in Edmonton

(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Rangers earned a lopsided victory the last
time out and they hope to build off that triumph when they visit the lowly
Edmonton Oilers in Sunday’s battle at Rexall Place.

New York began a four-game road trip with Saturday’s 5-1 rout of the Vancouver
Canucks. The win pushed Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault to 3-0 against the
Canucks since they fired him following the 2012-13 season and the Blueshirts
have outscored Vancouver by a combined 13-4 margin in those three encounters.

Mats Zuccarello scored a pair of goals as New York used a three-goal first-
period to jump all over the Canucks at Rogers Arena. J.T. Miller, Marc Staal
and Ryan McDonagh also lit the lamp for the Rangers.

Derick Brassard and Rick Nash each added a pair of assists, while Henrik
Lundqvist turned in a 29-save effort for the win.

“You can tell that we had the jump tonight,” said Lundqvist. “That’s the way
we have to play.”

Saturday’s blowout victory was the second straight win for the Rangers, who
have only won three in a row once this season. New York went 3-0 from Oct.
16-21 and the club’s current two-game streak marks only the second time the
Blueshirts have recorded consecutive victories since that season-high winning
streak.

Backup Cam Talbot is expected to spell Lundqvist in net tonight. Talbot is
1-1-0 with a 1.01 goals against average in two career outings against
Edmonton.

While the defending Eastern Conference champions are aiming to match their
longest winning streak of the season tonight, the Oilers are simply looking
for something positive to shake them out of a terrible funk.

Edmonton is last in the NHL with 19 points and has suffered defeats in 14 of
its last 15 trips to the ice. Carolina also has 19 points on the season, but
is one place ahead of the Oilers in the league standings due to having played
one less game.

The Oilers have lost three in a row — all in regulation — and were handed a
4-2 setback by visiting Anaheim on Friday night in the finale of a home-and-
home series. Edmonton lost a 2-1 road decision to the Ducks on Wednesday.

With actual wins hard to come by, the perpetually rebuilding Oilers at least
achieved minor victories by making competitive games of both contests against
the NHL-leading Ducks. Edmonton was down 3-0 at one point on Friday before
rallying to make it a one-goal game.

Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Getzlaf scored in a 44-second span in the opening
minute of the second period to hand the Ducks their 3-0 cushion. However, the
Oilers received a goal late in the second from Tyler Pitlick before Jeff
Petry’s power-play tally made it a 3-2 contest at 12:40 of the third.

The Oilers outshot Anaheim 11-4 in the third period, but Nate Thompson would
eventually seal the win for the Ducks with his empty-net tally in the final
minute.

“I feel like I’ve said this eight times this year. A couple bad shifts killed
us. They had two Grade A chances at the start of the second,” lamented Oilers
forward Taylor Hall, who posted an assist in the setback.

Viktor Fasth suffered both losses against the Ducks, his former team. Fasth
was pulled 21 minutes into his start on Friday after giving up three goals on
12 shots. Ben Scrivens stopped all seven shots he faced in relief.

Scrivens will get the start in net tonight. He is 2-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA in
three career games against the Rangers.

The Oilers have won three of the last four meetings against the Rangers and
notched a 3-1 victory when the clubs meet in the Big Apple on Nov. 9. Fasth
stopped 20-of-21 shots in that contest, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and former
Ranger Benoit Pouliot each posted a goal and an assist for Edmonton.

New York has won two of the past three encounters at Rexall Place.