NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 20th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (0-1) at New York Rangers (1-0), 12 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers hope to ride their home dominance
of the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference
quarterfinals when the teams get together for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.
The Rangers posted a 4-1 win in the opener of the best-of-seven series
Thursday at Madison Square Garden, giving New York nine straight wins against
Philadelphia at home. The club's last loss in this series at MSG was back on
Feb. 20, 2011.
The Flyers hope to break their slump in Manhattan on Sunday before the series
heads to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4. The Rangers were 0-2 in Philly this
season and have lost in their past three trips to the City of Brotherly Love.
New York controlled play for most of Game 1, but the score was tied 1-1
heading into the third period. The Rangers, however, seized a golden
opportunity when Philadelphia's Jason Akeson drew blood on a high stick
against Carl Hagelin, resulting in a four-minute power play for the home team
at 7:35 of the final period.
The Blueshirts scored twice off Akeson's double minor, with Brad Richards
scoring at 8:22 and Derek Stepan converting just 47 second later.
Richards posted a goal and two assists while Hagelin, Stepan and Mats
Zuccarello all lit the lamp for New York, which also got two assists from
late-season addition Martin St. Louis.
Henrik Lundqvist, meanwhile, only needed to stop 14 shots to pick up the win.
"I think we controlled play, didn't give them much," said Richards. "There was
no other thought than to keep controlling the puck and keep trying to get it
behind them. In a series sometimes having the puck and wearing them out can
benefit you later in the game."
With a three-point performance in Game 1, Richards already has tripled his
production from last season's postseason when he had one assist in 10 games.
Andrew MacDonald scored the only goal of the game for the Flyers, who played
with Ray Emery in goal due to an injury to No. 1 option Steve Mason. Emery
will get the call again in Game 2 with Cal Heeter serving as the backup, as
Mason isn't ready to return from an upper-body injury suffered April 12
Emery played well in defeat on Thursday, stopping 32-of-36 shots. The veteran
netminder fell to 20-16 in his postseason career.
"We've got to win one in here and we'd like to have that one but we'll be
refocused for the next one," said Emery. "We're confident that if we play the
way that we can play we can take them."
Philadelphia head coach Craig Berube is looking for a much better effort from
his top line in Game 2, as Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek
combined for just two shots in the loss. Hartnell registered both shots and
also assisted on MacDonald's goal
"They didn't produce," Berube said. "They didn't shoot pucks, they didn't get
shots on net, didn't get an attack."
Giroux, who finished third in the NHL with 86 points this season, only had two
assists in four regular-season games against the Rangers in 2013-14.
This series marks the first time these rivals are meeting in the playoffs
since the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals, which the Flyers won in five games.
Philadelphia has won six of the 10 playoff series against the Rangers,
including three straight.
Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday in Philadelphia, with the four meeting set for
04/20 10:26:44 ET