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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
 
2nd
WAS 0
CHC 0
 
1st
ARI 0
STL 1
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
1st
ANA 0
CHI 0
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR