|PHI||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|NYR||1||1||3||(0 - 0)||5|
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FLYERS (30-15-6--66pts) at NY RANGERS (32-12-5--69pts)
1. IMPORTANT POINTS
The Rangers lead the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 69 points (32-12-5), while the Flyers sit in second place in the Division with 66 points (30-15-6)… A win today will put them within one point of the Division lead with 30 games remaining in the regular season.
2. FIRST TIME SINCE… LAST TIME
Today's game is the first meeting between the two teams since the Winter Classic in which the Rangers took a 3-2 victory… It is also the last meeting at Madison Square Garden this season… The two games remaining in the season series will be at the Wells Fargo Center which are the only two games played in that building this regular season.
3. SCORING FRENZY
The Flyers are second overall in the NHL in first-period goals (54) and fourth overall in second period goals (58)... They have scored six third-period goals in the last two games, which has risen the team from 14th to 8th in that category.
4. Player to watch RANGERS: Henrik Lundqvist
The Rangers goaltender has stymied the Flyers this season thus far, going 3-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA and .958 save percentage, including one shutout.
5. Player to watch FLYERS: Wayne Simmonds
Simmonds tied a career high when he scored his 16th goal yesterday vs. New Jersey… He has three goals in his last two games and a total of four goals and three assists for seven points in his last six games.
While another team from their city will be preparing for a certain big game in another sport Sunday, the New York Rangers will have an important contest of their own earlier in the day at Madison Square Garden.
New York will try for a sixth straight win - and fourth in a row this season - over its closest pursuer in the Atlantic Division when it meets the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time since the Winter Classic.
The Super Bowl will be on the minds of most New Yorkers when the Rangers (32-12-5) and their standout goaltender Henrik Lundqvist take the ice.
Lundqvist extended his scoreless streak to 150:45 and posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career Wednesday as the Rangers beat Buffalo 1-0 in a shootout. Lundqvist has allowed five goals over his last five games and helped New York to a 3-0-1 record over its last four.
"If you want to get to where you want to be, you need goaltending like that," coach John Tortorella said. "He's certainly provided that."
Lundqvist has also played a large part in the Rangers' five consecutive wins over the Flyers (30-15-6) - who trail New York by three points in the division - allowing a total of six goals in those games. He made 34 saves during New York's 3-2 victory in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2, including a key stop of Danny Briere's penalty shot with 19.6 seconds left.
"It's a great matchup and to play against them is always a challenge," Lundqvist said. "So far we have been able to play really well against them, but they're going to come even harder now to try and get the first one against us in this series. We have to be ready."
Briere and James van Riemsdyk are now sidelined indefinitely due to concussions, but Philadelphia has managed to earn points in five of its last six games, going 3-1-2. The lone regulation defeat came Saturday, when the Flyers allowed three goals in each of the first two periods and fell 6-4 at home to New Jersey.
They attempted to rally by outshooting the Devils 24-1 and scoring four times over the final 20 minutes, though they ultimately came up short.
"To their credit, the guys came out and played hard in the third period," coach Peter Laviolette said. "But you can't walk out of here and feel good."
He lost 4-2 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 23, his only game against New York in a Flyers uniform.
He might have a difficult time outdueling Lundqvist, who is 7-2-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average in his last nine home matchups with Philadelphia and has shut out the Flyers in two of the last three Rangers wins at MSG in this series. One of those was a 2-0 victory Nov. 26, when Lundqvist made 29 saves.
"We got to make sure we play our best game. It's not easy to play in Madison Square Garden," Flyers center Claude Giroux said. "Hopefully, guys get excited for it and we play the way we played in the third period (Saturday)."
|Apr 03 '12||NYR 5 at PHI 3||R. Callahan|
|Feb 11 '12||NYR 5 at PHI 2||R. Callahan|
|Feb 05 '12||PHI 2 at NYR 5||M. Del Zotto|
|Jan 02 '12||NYR 3 at PHI 2||B. Richards|
|Dec 23 '11||PHI 2 at NYR 4||M. Gaborik|
|Nov 26 '11||PHI 0 at NYR 2||B. Richards|
|J. van Riemsdyk||37||11||11||22||-1||22||2||1|
|M. Del Zotto||50||7||19||26||+26||28||0||2|