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Talbot, Rangers blank Flames

Feb 25, 2015 - 4:20 AM New York, NY ( - Kevin Hayes scored the game's only goal early in the third period, keeping the New York Rangers surging with a 1-0 decision over the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden.

Cam Talbot also helped the Rangers earn a point in a ninth straight game by coming up with 21 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season. New York has won three straight and is 7-0-1 in its last eight.

The Flames received a strong 28-save effort from Karri Ramo, but had trouble generating offensive chances in their opener of a seven-game road trip.

Hayes, bumped to the Rangers' top line in place of an injured Rick Nash, broke a scoreless deadlock three minutes into a strong third period for New York.

Derick Brassard set up the goal by beating Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman to a puck sent into the Calgary zone by Ryan McDonagh, then sent a quick pass to Hayes that the rookie one-timed into the top right corner of the net.

Nash, second in the league with 37 goals, was scratched during warmups due to neck spasms.

"I didn't even know (of moving to the top line) until I got to the rink before the game," Hayes said. "I'm nothing like Rick Nash, but I was lucky enough to get a goal out there."

The Rangers outshot Calgary by a 10-6 margin for the final frame, with Ramo able to give the Flames a chance at the end with several good saves.

"One of the things our team prides itself on is work ethic and conditioning," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "Give a lot of credit to Reg (Grant) and Adam (Virgile), our conditioning coaches. They spend a lot of time with our players on that. That's something that is within our control and I'm really pleased with where we are in that area. Probably shows up in the third and it did tonight."

Ramo withstood a heavy barrage from the Rangers during the game's initial stages, denying New York's best early chance with a spectacular diving glove save on J.T. Miller from in close.

"I was just trying to get something and I was lucky enough to get it," Ramo said. "(Miller) put it in my glove. I got lucky with the tip that hit the post and I got a second chance."

Talbot's busiest work came near the end of the second, when he made two tough stops on Josh Jooris moments apart during a 2-on-1 Calgary rush.

Game Notes

Prior to the game the Rangers recalled forward Oscar Lindberg from AHL Hartford to make his NHL debut in Nash's place ... Flames center Matt Stajan was not with the team to attend the impending birth of his child ... Calgary extended its franchise record by not allowing a power-play goal for a 12th consecutive outing. The Flames have killed off 22 straight penalties during that stretch ... New York improved to 9-1-1 against Pacific Division teams this season, while Calgary dropped to 8-13-2 versus the Eastern Conference.