Hot Start

Having tied the best 12-game start in franchise history and with the highest point total in the NHL, the New York Rangers look to keep their roll going when they face a team that's tied for the fewest points in the league.

Bet NHL Hockey

The Rangers try for their fourth straight victory when they host the Atlanta Thrashers, losers of four in a row, Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made New York -230 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -230 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

New York (9-2-1) got off to a stumbling start last season with six losses in its first eight games, but this season has been a different story. The Rangers lead the league with 19 points and have rebounded from their first back-to-back losses of 2008-09 with three consecutive wins.

The Rangers knocked off the archrival New York Islanders 4-2 on the road Monday, as captain Chris Drury scored his first two goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves.

"It's still early in the season, so who knows where everybody ends up,'' coach Tom Renney said. "These are important games because we do have a good point total and we want to add to that. If that is at the expense of somebody in our division, great."

New York's fast start is due in large part to Lundqvist, who lowered his goals-against average to 1.99 in 10 games this season.

"That's the one standard with us, that we have the best insurance policy in the league back there in the blue paint," winger Aaron Voros told the Rangers' official Web site. "He's an absolute rock back there for us."

Lundqvist only faced five shots in the third period Monday, while the Rangers carried the play with 14. They outshot the Islanders 39-30 overall.

New York also had 19 points through 12 games in the 1978-79 and 1989-90 seasons, and nine wins through 12 games in 1983-84.

While the Rangers have jumped to the top of the NHL, the Thrashers (2-5-2) find themselves at the bottom. Atlanta was pounded 7-0 at home by Philadelphia on Tuesday night and is tied for the fewest points in the league with six.

The only bright spot for the Thrashers came when goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who played the whole game, stopped a penalty shot with 7:47 remaining. Atlanta gave up four goals in the third period.

"We weren't ready, and from the start we didn't have the effort we wanted,'' forward Colby Armstrong said. "There was a couple of good bounces for them, but at the same time the game was there for us. After they got up a few, we just kind of folded the tent.''

The lopsided loss left the Thrashers tied with the Flyers for most goals allowed in the Eastern Conference with 34.

"The hard thing for me is that I can't go out there and play for them," first-year coach John Anderson said. "They have to find this from within. This is a part of growing as a team."

The Thrashers lost the last two meetings with the Rangers last season, but took the season series 2-1-1 and had won five in a row over New York prior to the defeats.

Bet NHL Hockey
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Hockey news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

Advertisement

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Detroit hopes to hold off surging Pittsburgh So far this season, nothing has been easy for the Red Wings. Add tonight’s matchup against the explosive Penguins to the list.
Thumbnail Caps trying to regain footing out East   Washington didn’t exactly end the month of November on a stirring note. But can the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner return to form against the Islanders?
Thumbnail Luongo attempts to give Florida a jolt A new era of Panthers hockey begins tonight. But can the Blackhawks stand tall and deliver yet another stellar performance at the...
Thumbnail Lack of scoring punch hurting Ruff's crew Two of the Western Conference’s most dangerous clubs square off tonight in the Gateway City. Will the Blues or Stars come out on top?
Thumbnail Stellar goaltending powers Calgary's success When Johnny Gaudreau went down with a broken finger two weeks ago, all seemed for the Flames. Now, though, they’ve morphed into one of the Western...
More inNHL Articles  
Advertisement

NHL Headlines

More inNHL News  

NHL Team Pages