Flames, Rangers each riding four-game winning streaks

While their latest win was hardly perfect, the New York Rangers may be starting to trend back in the right direction after nearly two months of inconsistent showings.

The Rangers attempt to earn a fifth straight victory Monday night when they host the Calgary Flames, who are seeking a sweep of the New York-area teams.

The Rangers recorded a 3-1 win in Calgary on Oct. 24 in its sixth game of the season by scoring three times in the second period. The early victory was part of a six-game winning streak and a 11-game points streak (10-0-1) that helped the Rangers open the season 18-4-1.

Since their fast start, the Rangers are 15-12-2 in their past 29. Before starting their current streak with a 7-2 rout in Ottawa on Jan. 27, the Rangers were in a 3-6-2 funk.

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Rangers followed up the win in Ottawa with last Monday’s 2-1 overtime home win over Colorado and a 3-1 home victory over Tampa Bay two nights later. The Rangers kept the streak going when Mika Zibanejad scored 2:37 into overtime for a 4-3 win at Chicago on Friday after blowing a two-goal lead in the third.

Chris Kreider, Alexis Lafreniere and Jonny Brodzinski also scored as the Rangers scored all even-strength goals. New York went 0-for-3 on the power-play and is 0-for-14 in its past six games.

“You want the performance to be good. And we know we have to play better,” Zibanejad said after scoring his eighth overtime goal with the Rangers. “The longer we get through the season, (the more) we want to build and we want to feel good about our game. But right now, it’s two points. We’re relieved that we got the win.”

Calgary will be relieved if it can get another win and continue to make progress in the Western Conference’s crowded wild-card race. The Flames are attempting to get a fifth straight win for the first time since April 4-12, 2022.

Calgary is on its second four-game winning streak of the season and is 8-4-0 over its past 12 games. The Flames began this streak with a 1-0 win over Chicago and scored 14 goals in the next three after trading Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 31.

On Saturday, Calgary scored the first three goals and notched a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders to extend their road winning streak to five games. MacKenzie Weegar recorded his first career hat trick and raised his season total to 15 goals, surging to the league lead for tallies by a defenseman by overtaking Colorado’s Cale Makar, Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin and Thomas Harley of Dallas.

“I never would have thought I would have a hat trick in the NHL,” Weegar said. “Credit to my teammates, of course. We have just been playing great hockey. It was a great night from everybody.”

The Flames saw nine different players get at least a point, including goalie Jacob Markstrom, who made 35 saves and got an assist. On Thursday in a 5-3 victory in New Jersey, 10 players registered at least one point.

Calgary is 6-1-1 in the past eight meetings with the Rangers.