NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 16th
(All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (21-16-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (18-21-3), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Henrik Lundqvist picked a great time to notch his first
shutout of the season.
The New York Rangers hope that their star goaltender stays in top form on
Tuesday night when they go after a third straight victory in a meeting with
the Philadelphia Flyers.
Lundqvist, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, made 29 saves in Saturday's 1-0
overtime victory against the New York Islanders, notching the 44th shutout of
his career. His stellar effort gave the Rangers enough time to find the game's
first goal, which came from Dan Girardi with 1:49 to play in the extra frame.
The 31-year-old Lundqvist improved to 19-14-3 with a 2.06 goals against
average and .928 save percentage this season. He has allowed more than two
goals just once in his past 13 games and not more than three in 20 of his past
"(Lundqvist) was our backbone. He gave us the opportunity and we ended up
scoring a goal," said Rangers head coach John Tortorella.
The Rangers improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven games and have 46 points
with seven games to play. They are two ahead of the ninth-place Winnipeg Jets
for the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth with a game in hand. The Jets
host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
While the Blueshirts will be looking to improve their playoff chances, they'll
also have an opportunity to deal the Flyers' fading postseason hopes another
critical blow. However, a regulation win by Philadelphia tonight would make
things interesting for the Black and Orange.
The Flyers are seven points back of the Rangers with six to play, though
tonight is the final of five regular-season meetings between the Atlantic
New York has won each of the past three as well as 11 of the previous 12
encounters overall. The Rangers have also won five of their last six in
The Flyers kept their long shot hopes alive on Monday with a 7-3 victory over
the Montreal Canadiens, snapping a four-game slide in which they had scored
just three goals.
However, Scott Hartnell netted the seventh hat trick of his career and both
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek had a goal and two assists in the win over the
Habs. Voracek matched a career best with his 18th goal of the season.
"It's nice to contribute and we're not out of it yet, so there's always a
chance," said Hartnell. "We started sitting back there for a little bit, but I
thought we responded well. We played our system and played hard and got a big
two points here."
Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves for the Flyers, who lost yet another player to
injury when defenseman Kent Huskins suffered a concussion after taking a
shoulder to the jaw from Montreal forward Ryan White, who was assessed a major
Philadelphia's blue line is already without Nicklas Grossmann, Andrej Meszaros
and Braydon Coburn for the rest of the season, while forwards Max Talbot and
Zac Rinaldo are also out.
04/16 10:27:57 ET