Michael Grabner

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WATCH LIVE: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers

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Buffalo Sabres

Benoit PouliotJack EichelKyle Okposo

Evander KaneRyan O'ReillyJason Pominville

Zemgus GirgensonsEvan RodriguesSam Reinhart

Scott WilsonJohan LarssonJordan Nolan

Marco ScandellaRasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabeJustin Falk

Josh Gorges — Casey Nelson

Starting goalie: Robin Lehner

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Rangers; Penguins vs. Kings]

New York Rangers

Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich

Mats ZuccarelloJ.T. Miller — Vinni Lettieri

Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPaul Carey

Michael Grabner — Peter Holland — Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden

Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk

Brendan SmithSteven Kampfer

Starting goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Tuesday night, as the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 p.m. ET.

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Rangers

Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Mats ZuccarelloJ.T. Miller – Vinni Lettieri
Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPaul Carey
Michael Grabner – Peter Holland – Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

Startling goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

[Flyers look to push winning streak to five games against Rangers]

Flyers

Claude GirouxSean CouturierTravis Konecny
Michael RafflValtteri FilppulaJakub Voracek
Jordan WealNolan PatrickWayne Simmonds
Taylor LeierScott LaughtonJori Lehtera

Ivan ProvorovShayne Gostisbehere
Robert HaggAndrew MacDonald
Brandon ManningRadko Gudas

Startling goalie: Brian Elliott

 

The Buzzer: Mike Smith on fire for Flames

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Player of the Night: Mike Smith, Calgary Flames

While Petr Mrazek pitched a 27-save shutout as the Red Wings lulled the Blackhawks to sleep, Smith deserves recognition for another strong game, but beyond that for defying expectations in 2017-18. He’s been red-hot in particular lately.

This marks Smith’s sixth consecutive win, and he’s faced 30+ shots on goal in all of those victories. Sunday represented one of his best performances of that stretch, stopping 38 out of 39 shots against the frustrated Carolina Hurricanes.

It’s not just a flash in the pan, either. Smith is now 20-13-3 on the season with a sparkling .924 save percentage.

Confession: few of us expected this level of work, and such durability, from the massive 35-year-old.

Highlights of the Night

Pretty sweet stuff from Michael Grabner for the Rangers in a loss to the Penguins.

It’s probably worth seeing Phil Kessel‘s 700th point again, even if it was typical, at least by Kessel’s sniping standards. More on Kessel’s milestone here.

After missing 21 games, Brandon Sutter scored the overtime game-winner for the Canucks against the Wild.

Factoids

Another Kessel tidbit:

Tyler Bertuzzi, like Dominik Simon, scored his first NHL goal. He gets the edge because of this great, very “hockey” photo.

Scores

Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 0
Flames 4, Hurricanes 1
Penguins 5, Rangers 2
Canucks 3, Wild 2 (OT)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

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Rangers

J.T. MillerMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello

Rick NashBoo NievesJesper Fast

Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPavel Buchnevich

Michael GrabnerPaul Carey — Vinni Lettieri

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden

Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk

Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

Starting Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

Penguins

Dominik SimonSidney Crosby — Daniel Sprong

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyJake GuentzelPhil Kessel

Tom KuhnhacklRiley SheahanRyan Reaves

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting Goalie: Tristan Jarry

Rangers’ depth on display early in 2018 Winter Classic

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Scoring depth has been an advantage for the New York Rangers during the last couple of seasons, and that’s something that surfaced during the first period of the 2018 Winter Classic against the Buffalo Sabres.

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For one thing, Paul Carey continued to make more of a mark for this offense.

After scoring just one goal in 13 games between October and November, Carey was really starting to make more of an impact for the Rangers in December, scoring seven points in 13 games that month. He carried that momentum into the new year, making it 1-0 about four minutes into the contest:

The fancier highlight came on the 2-0 goal, as Kevin Hayes squeezed a pass into a small window by Robin Lehner to set up Michael Grabner, who’s already at 18 goals on the season:

The speedy Grabner is really on a “Cy Young” pace so far: as of this writing, he has 18 goals versus three assists (18-3, if you will). While Grabner now has more goals (149) than assists (85) in his career, this season is putting that imbalance to an extreme.

Either way, depth continues to be a factor in the Rangers’ favor. They came into the 2018 Winter Classic with 14 players with 13+ points on the season, and Carey is one point away from being the 15th Ranger to hit double digits.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.