(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to build off an impressive win in their last outing when they visit the Anaheim Ducks for tonight's battle at the Honda Center. The Rangers have won two straight tests and they notched a 7-0 blowout over the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers this past Sunday.
Anaheim, meanwhile, had a three-game winning streak halted in its last trip to the ice, dropping the Ducks record to 3-5-1 over the last nine games. New York is currently in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, as the Rangers are sitting seventh with 74 points. The Blueshirts are just two points ahead of eight-seeded Buffalo.
The Ducks, on the other hand, would not qualify for the Western Conference playoffs if the season ended today. With 75 points, Anaheim is 11th in the West, but still just two points out of the conference's final playoff spot.
Ryan Callahan sparked New York's lopsided win over its Atlantic Division rivals, as he registered his first career hat trick by scoring four times in the rout of the Flyers.
It was the first four-goal game by a Rangers player since Marian Gaborik accomplished the feat on January 19th against Toronto. Gaborik returned to the lineup after missing the last six games with a concussion, but did not register a point in 14 1/2 minutes of ice time.
"It was a good feeling. We needed these two points so it was a good time for me to get my first career hat trick," Callahan said. "A few of them were tap- ins so I have to credit my teammates."
Callahan also added an assist, while Mats Zuccarello recorded his first-ever two-goal game for the Rangers. Artem Anisimov also lit the lamp in the win. and Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 24 shots to record his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.
Lundqvist has started the last 12 games in net for the Rangers and is expected to get the call again tonight.
The Rangers are on the road for just two games. They will visit San Jose on Saturday before returning back east for a two-game homestand. The Rangers have won three straight on the road and have an impressive 20-13-1 record as the guest this season.
The Ducks were dealt their first loss of March on Sunday, as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Canucks. Manny Malhotra scored two goals and Cory Schneider made 26 saves to record his first career shutout in Vancouver's road win at the Honda Center.
Dan Ellis stopped only 13 shots for the Ducks, who fell to 3-2-1 on the seven- game homestand that ends tonight. Anaheim is 20-11-2 as the home club this season.
The loss dropped Ellis to 3-1-1 in five starts since coming to Anaheim in a trade with Tampa Bay. Ellis is expected to start tonight's game as well.
New York recorded a 3-0 home win over the Ducks in the only meeting between the teams last season. The Rangers have won three straight, four of five and six of the last eight encounters with the Ducks overall and they have claimed three consecutive tests in Anaheim.