NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 26th
(All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (15-13-3) at Philadelphia Flyers (13-16-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers have struggled as the road team this
season, but a meeting with the sinking Philadelphia Flyers could get their
upcoming swing off on the right foot.
The Rangers look to beat the Flyers for the 11th time in the past 12 matchups
overall as the Atlantic Division rivals battle on Tuesday night.
New York is coming off consecutive home setbacks, though it did get a point
with Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss versus the Washington Capitals. That allowed
the Rangers to move into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with 33
points, just one ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, who host the Winnipeg Jets
Sunday's loss was New York's fifth in seven games as Henrik Lundqvist made 22
saves, but yielded goals to Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the fourth-
round tiebreaker. Derek Stepan scored in the shootout for the Rangers after
also netting a goal in regulation.
"Overall, I think we had enough chances to win this game," Lundqvist said. "I
only stopped 2-of-4 in the shootout. I have to be better. You face really good
players. I think the last one was a really good shot. Ovechkin, I felt like I
had him, but I didn't get the stick down."
Arron Asham, who hadn't played since Feb. 19 due to a back injury, had a goal
for the Rangers. who played without rookie center J.T. Miller due to a forearm
New York will look to bounce back in the opener of a three-game swing, but is
just 5-7-1 as the guest this season. It is 10-6-2 at home on the year.
The only loss that the Rangers have suffered in their past 11 versus the
Flyers came on Jan. 24 in Philadelphia, a 2-1 decision. The Flyers snapped a
four-game series home losing streak with that win.
Philadelphia is 9-4-1 as the hosting club this season and plays the first of
five straight at home with this matchup. The Flyers, though, are just 4-12-1
on the road, a big reason they sit 13th out of 15 teams in the East and five
points back of the Rangers.
"It's going to be huge for us," Philly captain Claude Giroux said of the
upcoming homestand. "Obviously we have to go one game at a time. We've got
five games coming up here, we've got to find a way to win those five games. If
we want to have a chance to have a spot in the playoffs we have to start
winning some games in a row."
Giroux had a second-period goal on Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, but
the Flyers suffered a 2-1 setback in overtime.
Wayne Simmonds and Kimmo Timonen took third-period penalties and the Pens'
Sidney Crosby put home the game-tying goal 31 seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage
before Tyler Kennedy scored the winner with 2:27 left in overtime.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 33 shots for the Flyers, who have lost six of their
"I thought our guys did a real good job," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said
of his team's defense. "There weren't a lot of chances."
Philadelphia was without forward Danny Briere and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann
due to injury on Sunday. Grossmann sat out with an upper body injury and is
day-to-day, while Briere suffered a concussion in practice on Saturday and is
03/26 10:56:40 ET