NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 21st
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (20-42-11) at New York Rangers (36-28-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to build on the momentum of a
big win when they welcome the lowly Philadelphia Flyers to Madison Square
The Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives and helped their cause with a
dramatic victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. Jaromir Jagr
scored with just 33.8 seconds left in the contest to lift New York to the 2-1
triumph over the Penguins.
New York has 81 points and is currently occupying the seventh spot in the
Eastern Conference. The Rangers are three points behind sixth-place Tampa Bay
and just one point ahead of Carolina, Toronto and Montreal.
With time winding down in Monday's contest, Jagr skated the puck into the
Pittsburgh end down the right wing and threw the puck out front in an attempt
to get it to Michael Nylander. The puck tipped off of the stick of
Pittsburgh's Robert Scuderi and went into the Pittsburgh net.
Blair Betts scored the other New York goal and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21
shots for the Rangers, who have won two straight and have points in nine of
their last 10 games (6-1-3).
The Rangers could receive a huge boost this evening, as All-Star forward
Brendan Shanahan is expected to make his return from a concussion suffered on
February 17 against Philadelphia.
Shanahan and the Flyers' Mike Knuble were involved in a vicious collision in
which both players were left with major injuries. Shanahan was kept overnight
in the hospital with his concussion, while Knuble suffered fractures to his
cheek orbital bones. Knuble missed 12 games with the injury, but has played in
the last three tests for Philadelphia.
Despite missing the last 15 contests, the 38-year-old Shanahan still leads the
Rangers with 28 goals this season. He is fourth on the club with 54 total
This evening's test wraps up a three-game homestand for the Rangers, who are
18-15-5 as the host this year and have won five of their last six tilts at
The Flyers lost for the fourth time in five games on Tuesday evening, as
they were handed a 4-1 home setback by the Florida Panthers. Olli Jokinen's
goal late in the second period provided the difference, and Ed Belfour made
24 saves to backstop Florida's win at the Wachovia Center.
Dimitry Afanasenkov tallied the only goal for the lowly Flyers, while Martin
Biron allowed four goals on 34 shots in the losing effort. Philadelphia,
which has been handed defeats in 11 of their last 15 contests, wasted six
power-play chances on Tuesday.
The Panthers' victory gave the club its first-ever season sweep (4-0-0) over
the Flyers, a rivalry that stretches back to the Panthers' 1993 inception.
This evening's contest is one of just three remaining road games on the
schedule for Philadelphia. The Flyers are 12-22-4 as the visiting team this
year and have dropped four straight and seven of their last eight tests away
from the City of Brotherly Love.
The Rangers have taken four of six encounters with Philly this season and
seven of the last 11 overall matchups between the clubs. However, the road
team has taken 12 of the last 15 matchups in the series and the Flyers have
walked away with a victory in eight of their last 10 trips to MSG.
03/21 11:53:30 ET