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NHL on NBCSN: Flyers, Rangers aim to bury disappointments

Mar 5, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Taylor Pyatt #14 of the New York Rangers positions himself in front of the net against Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on January 29, 2013 in New York City. The Rangers defeat the Flyers 2-1. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This game is a battle for the eighth seed, with the Philadelphia Flyers holding onto it by just one point despite having played in three more games than the New York Rangers — and few people would have predicted that statement would be true close to the halfway point of the 2013 campaign.

It’s safe to say that the Flyers and Rangers starts rank among the most disappointing, but they’ve both enjoyed some recent success that might mark the turn of their respective campaigns.

For Philadelphia, it helps that they’ve gotten one of its key contributors last season, Scott Hartnell, back now that he’s recovered from a broken foot. The recent acquisition of Simon Gagne has also bolstered their depth.

Combined that with captain Claude Giroux heating up and finding the back of the net hasn’t been a serious issue for the Flyers lately.

The New York Rangers can’t say the same. So far Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, and Brad Richards have combined to miss just four games (although Richards missed Monday’s practice), but despite the relatively good health of their three elite forwards, the Rangers have been among the worst teams offensively this season.

As a result, they’ve only won twice this season when Henrik Lundqvist or Martin Biron has allowed three or more goals. Fortunately for the Rangers, Lundqvist is having another great year after a shaky start and has dominated the Flyers over the last couple seasons.

He’ll try to force that trend’s continuation, but that will be a serious challenge now that the Flyers offense has heated up.

Probable goaltenders: NYR – Lundqvist (9-7-1, 2.28 GAA, .918 SV%) | PHI – Ilya Bryzgalov (11-9-1, 2.61 GAA, .907 SV%)

Top scorers: NYR – Nash (5-11-16, 16 GP) | PHI – Jakub Voracek (9-16-25, 23 GP)

Notable Injuries:
New York – Forwards: Brad Richards (undisclosed), Arron Asham (back) Defensemen: Michael Sauer (concussion)
Philadelphia – Forwards: Tye McGinn (eye), Matt Read (ribs), Jody Shelley (hip) Defensemen: Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Chris Pronger (concussion)

  1. heyzeus143 - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Don’t worry Philly, game with Pittsburgh is right around the corner. That always gets you guys back on track.

  2. ibieiniid - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    can’t wait for this game.

    off school for spring break too so I can actually watch live

    • hy3rid28 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      haha how did this gets thumbs down

      • stevierod - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Jealous working professionals that have commitments that bar them from enjoying a good rivalry game is my guess. Life would be so much more fun if work didn’t get in the way.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        funniest part: I’m a working professional too but I get to watch the game because I get off at 5 every day and don’t have to go straight to school this week.

        have fun at work til 10PM, haters.

  3. hockeywithdrawal - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Should be a great game – two teams that are capable of putting on a show. I have to put aside my Flyer animosity for tonight, as the idea of Torts being run out of hockey is just to enjoyable to root against. Go Flyers –

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Wow never thought I’d ever see those words coming from a perpetual Flyers hater. I’m hoping the Flyers win over the Rangers earlier this year will give them the confidence to know they can beat Lundqvist. Too many times over the years the Flyers have tried to be too perfect when playing the king, just throw the puck on net and let Hartnell and Simmonds score the dirty goals. Should be a great game. Like hockeywithdrawal says Go Flyers.

    • goodolejr - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Holy hell, I never thought I’d see the day! haha

      Definitely should be a great game. This is going to be a great week of Flyers hockey with the next 2 games against the Pens and Bs. Hopefully we can come away with 6 points this week but I’ll settle for 4.

  4. zam0854 - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Torts? I dont know what youre saying so Im going to have to take it as an insult…GO FLYERS!! Cover Boy Claude

  5. steelers88 - Mar 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Man I hate both teams with a passion but I hate John Torterella more so I can’t believe I’m going to say this LET’S GO FLYERS! Until Thursday.

  6. ironman721 - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    @steelers88, blasphemy!! Your Pittsburgh fan card has just been revoked. Haha

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