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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 on Tuesday.
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 injury.
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 last eight.
"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 out indefinitely.
03/26 10:56:40 ET