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Preview: Rangers Looking To Howl In Arizona

With temperatures sinking to the single digits at home, the New York Rangers are looking get hot on the road this weekend…literally and figuratively.

They’ll open up a weekend back-to-back set tonight, as they face off against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Saturday night (8:00 PM, MSG).

The Rangers (21-14-5) are coming a 5-2 defeat at the hands on the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night, done in by three third period goals that snapped a 2-2 tie, though two of those came with an empty net. Patrick Sharp wound tallying the winning score for Chicago, who swept the Rangers for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The Rangers scored a goal in each of the first two periods, put in by Nick Holden and Mika Zibanejad, the latter being the only cash-in on six power plays.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes (10-27-5) are coming off a surprising overtime victory over the defending Western Conference champions, taking a 3-2 overtime decision on Thursday night. Ex-Ranger Anthony Duclair gave Arizona an early lead with his eighth of the season, while Christian Fischer put in a Jakob Chychrun rebound past Juuse Saros to ignite the home celebration.

This will be the second and final meeting between the Rangers and Coyotes this season, with the Rangers taking a 5-2 win in the Madison Square Garden meeting on October 26. Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich had two goals each, while Boo Nieves tallied the first points of his NHL career, picking up three assists.

Tonight will mark the first time Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta will play against the Rangers since a summer trade sent him to Arizona. He missed the October matchup with an injury.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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