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Preview: Rangers Head Back Indoors For O6 Showdown

Now 4-0-0 in regular season outdoor games, the New York Rangers probably wish all of their games could be outside, even with a potential “bomb cyclone” bearing down on the tri-state area.

Nonetheless, they’ll head back indoors tonight, as they wrap up a season set with the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden (8:00 PM, NBCSN).

The Rangers (21-13-5) remained unbeaten in outdoor competition, taking a 3-2 decision from the Buffalo Sabres in the annual Winter Classic, held this season at Citi Field in Queens. They tallied first period goals from Paul Carey and Michael Grabner, the latter putting in his team-high 18th goal of the season. Buffalo tied the game up, sending the game into an extra five minute session. Drawing a power play when Jimmy Vesey was tripped up, the Rangers took advantage, as JT Miller put in the game winner shortly after the midway mark of the frame.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks (18-14-6) are looking to start the new year by reentering the Western Conference playoff picture. They ended 2017 with a tough 1-3-1 stretch, one that followed a five-game winning streak. On the final day of the year, a road trip to Alberta ended in a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Calgary Flames. Brandon Saad tied the game in third period’s penultimate minute, with Jordan Osterle and Jonathan Towes scoring the other goals in the second period, as Chicago erased a 3-0 deficit. Mark Giordano scored the game winner for the Flames in overtime.

This will end the seasonal double set between the Rangers and Blackhawks this season, the other also a part of NBC’s Wednesday Night Rivalry series. Chicago took the first part, winning 6-3 at United Center back in November. Ex-Ranger Artem Anisimov put in a hat trick, helping the Blackhawks erase the Rangers’ 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Mika Zinbanejad had that opening goal for the Rangers, who also had scores from Kevin Hayes and Rick Nash.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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