The Philadelphia Flyers will go to New York to face the Rangers tonight. The Flyers (11-11-1) and the Rangers (10-8-2) will meet up for the 3rd time this season out of 5 scheduled meetings. The first 2 contests both ended 2-1 with the Flyers winning the first and the Rangers taking the second.
Both Philadelphia and New York are currently riding a 2-game winning streak; however, the Flyers have won 5 of their last 7, while the Rangers have lost 5 of their last 8 games. They are also both fighting for the final playoff spot in the East; the Flyers reside in 8th with 23 points, while the Rangers currently sit in 9th with 21.
Philadelphia will look to end their losing streak in New York tonight. The Flyers have lost 5 straight games in Madison Square Garden and haven't won there since February of 2011. In the last 10 games versus the Rangers, the Flyers are 1-8-1, having only scored more than 2 goals in a game once.
Who to look out for:
Rick Nash has been pivotal to the Rangers success this season. When Nash sat out with a concussion, the Rangers lost 4 straight games. However, with Nash in the lineup, New York has won 6 of their last 7 games. Also when Nash registers at least 1 point, the Rangers are 9-3. And they are 1-7 when Nash doesn't play or fails to score a point. Despite missing 4 games, Nash still leads the Rangers in points with 16.
Wayne Simmonds has been Mr. Clutch for the Flyers recently. Simmonds has the last 3 game winning goals in the Flyers last 3 victories. He also has 7 goals and 12 points in his last 11 games. Simmonds is currently tied for the Flyers lead in goals with 9 with Jake Voracek.
Who's in Net:
Ilya Bryzgalov (11-9-1, 2.61 GAA), who is tied for the NHL lead in wins, will make his 8th straight start in goal against Henrik Lundqvist (9-7-1, 2.28 GAA).
Matt Read (torn rib muscles) skated with the team yesterday with a regular contact jersey. Read, who says he still feels some discomfort, said he is ahead of the original 6 week estimate. Read hinted maybe 2-3 more weeks, but surprisingly didn't completely rule out this weekend.
Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) didn't skate with the team yesterday. While some thought maybe he suffered a setback, GM Paul Holmgren said that he sat out due to illness. Meszaros, who has been out since January 24th, will hope to return to action at some point this week.
Harry Zolnierczyk was suspended for 4 games by the NHL Disciplinary Committee for his hit on Mike Lundin against the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon. Zolnierczyk launched himself into Lundin leaving the ice while making contact with Lundin's head. Lundin was forced to leave the game due to a concussion. Zolnierczyk has no prior history, yet because Lundin was injured on the play, the supplementary discipline was increased to 4 games. Zolnierczyk will miss his first of 4 games tonight.
The Flyers have recalled Eric Wellwood from the Adirondack Phantoms this mornings. It is not certain yet whether Wellwood or Mike Knuble will get the start today.
Drop the Puck:
The New York Rangers will host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at 7:30 PM.