National Hockey League
Preview
Arizona at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 26, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The New York Rangers expect to have Rick Nash back in the lineup when they conclude a three-game homestand against the reeling Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Nash missed his first contest of the season with neck spasms following what was deemed as a "bad sleep" on Tuesday, but rookie Kevin Hayes scored his team's lone goal in the Rangers' 1-0 victory over Calgary. "I like to play offense, though I'm nothing like Rick Nash; but I was lucky enough to get a goal out there," Hayes said after New York's third consecutive win.

Lucky or not, Hayes also joined Nash by scoring a goal in New York's 5-1 rout of the Coyotes on Feb. 14. While the Rangers have gone 10-1-2 in their last 13 to move within two points of the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders, Arizona has seen its offense go limp during a seven-game losing streak. The Coyotes have mustered just nine goals during that span and fell to 0-2-0 on their four-game East Coast road trip with a 5-1 setback to the Islanders on Tuesday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE COYOTES (20-34-7): Mark Arcobello scored for the fourth time in six games since being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh, but that is perhaps the lone offensive bright spot for Arizona. The Coyotes have not eclipsed two goals in any of their last 10 games and yielded five for the 17th time this season. "It's just where we are," coach Dave Tippett told the Arizona Republic. "We've got a hard time scoring and a hard time defending."

ABOUT THE RANGERS (37-16-6): Cam Talbot, who is 7-1-2 in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist, made 34 saves and even stopped a penalty shot in the first meeting with the Coyotes. Derick Brassard has collected one goal and 12 assists in his last 12 games and notched his career-best 48th point on Tuesday. Brassard also set up a goal in the previous matchup with Arizona, marking his 17th career point in 22 contests against the club.

OVERTIME

1. The Rangers own an impressive 9-1-1 record versus Pacific Division representatives.

2. Arizona recalled C Henrik Samuelsson from Portland and assigned LW Jordan Martinook to the American Hockey League club.

3. The Rangers are 0-for-15 on the power play in their last six games.

PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Coyotes 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Arizona 20-34-2-5 L7 9-16-2-2 11-18-0-3 1-4-0-0 19-30-2-5 10-10-0-0
NY Rangers 37-16-1-5 W3 19-7-1-4 18-9-0-1 4-1-1-0 33-15-0-5 16-4-0-1
Last Meeting
Arizona NY Rangers
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/14/15 NYR 5 ARI 1 35 27 0-3 32 34 0-0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Arizona O. Ekman-Larsson 1
NY Rangers K. Klein 2
Goals Player  
Arizona A. Vermette 1
NY Rangers K. Hayes 1
Assists Player  
Arizona O. Ekman-Larsson 1
NY Rangers K. Klein 2
Saves Player  
Arizona M. Smith 27
NY Rangers C. Talbot 34
Season
Total Points Player  
Arizona K. Yandle 40
NY Rangers R. Nash 59
Goals Player  
Arizona O. Ekman-Larsson 17
NY Rangers R. Nash 37
Assists Player  
Arizona K. Yandle 36
NY Rangers D. Brassard 37
Saves Player  
Arizona M. Smith 1262
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 1099
Quickchart Matchup
Arizona Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.13 GF
2.37 GA
29.3 Shots
29.1 Shots
38 PP
29 PK
NY Rangers Off vs  Arizona Def
3.1 GF
3.3 GA
31.2 Shots
32 Shots
31 PP
45 PK