banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 26th (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Flyers (38-26-7) at New York Rangers (40-29-4), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - There stands a good chance that the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers could meet in the first round of the playoffs.

Who would get home-ice advantage is still up for grabs and that could be the difference given the recent results between the two clubs.

The Flyers look to snap a seven-game skid at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night as they battle the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Under realignment, the top three teams of each division receive playoff berths, with the division winner taking on a wild card team. That currently is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 13 points ahead of the second-place Rangers.

If the playoffs started today, New York would play host to Philadelphia in the opening round as it is a point ahead of the Flyers for second place. However, Philly has two games in hand and both the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets are lurking just three points back of third place.

Though the Flyers have won three of their past four versus the Rangers, all three of those wins came in Philadelphia. The Orange and Black lost a 4-1 decision in its most recent trip to MSG on Jan. 12 and have not beaten the Rangers on the road since Feb. 20, 2011.

Philly has been outscored 28-8 during its series road skid and has not scored more than two goals in any of the seven games.

Also not working in the Flyers' favor is the fact that the Rangers come in having matched their longest winning streak of the season, picking up a fourth victory in a row with Monday's 4-3 overtime decision against the Phoenix Coyotes.

New York took advantage of an injury to Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, scoring the game-tying and winning goals against backup Thomas Greiss. Dan Girardi tied the game with 3:28 left in regulation and Ryan McDonagh, who had two assists, scored the winner on a rebound 1:56 into the bonus frame.

"That's a team I know really well and usually when they have a lead they keep the lead," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, former bench boss of the Vancouver Canucks.

Brad Richards and Derick Brassard also scored and Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves to put New York in position to win five straight for the first time since Dec. 30-Jan. 10 of the 2011-12 season.

Vigneault hopes to have both Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan back at full strength tonight. Both forwards attempted to play through illness on Monday, but saw limited ice time in the contest. Fellow forward Chris Kreider, however, will miss Wednesday's game with an unspecified injury that is reportedly a broken hand. Kreider has 17 goals and 20 assists in 66 games for the Rangers this season.

Lundqvist could draw the start for the Rangers and New York's all-time leader in wins is 26-13-3 with a 2.53 goals against average and four shutouts in 44 career meetings with the Flyers.

Philadelphia had won a season-best five games in a row before taking a 3-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

The Flyers had bested a number of playoff-contending teams during their win streak and battled back in the third period on Monday to tie the game off goals by Matt Read and Jakub Voracek, but Los Angeles got the winner from Dwight King midway through the third period.

Ray Emery made 38 saves in the finale of a four-game homestand for Philly.

"We knew we weren't playing well," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. "So we told each other let's start picking it up a little bit. Obviously first shift we were able to get a goal to kind of get us back in the game. I thought when we tied it up I thought we were going to keep going but they were able to get the game winner."

The Flyers, without Steve Downie due to an upper-body injury, are likely to go back to Steve Mason in net tonight. He has solid career numbers versus the Rangers, going 4-0-1 with a 2.39 GAA in six meetings.

03/26 10:49:37 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes Logo
Canes sign defenseman, goalie

Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis called Brett Pesce, 20, "a big, puck-moving defenseman" ready "to begin his professional career" in announcing that Pesce would join the American Hockey League (AHL) Charlotte Checkers this week.

Related Stories
TV
  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
2nd
CHA 52
ATL 51
 
1st Intermission
CAR 0
NJD 1
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
 
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
7th
ARI 5
KAN 8
 
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
2nd
CHA 52
ATL 51
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
2nd
WISC 66
ARZ 55
 
1st
YALE 21
CAN 17
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
1st Intermission
MON 1
FLA 0
 
1st Intermission
CAR 0
NJD 1
 
1st Intermission
TOR 0
OTT 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL