The New York Rangers are set to face off against the Philadelphia Flyers for game two of the playoffs this afternoon at noon eastern. The Rangers lead the series 1-0 after a 4-1 win at Madison Square Garden on 17 April 2014. These two teams know each other well, and they aren’t friendly. Here’s what you can expect in today’s game; if it’s possible to predict the playoffs!
The Rangers played a great physical game in game one. Key players, read as Brad Richards, stepped up and produced the way they are expected to perform. Richards has five points in his last four games, including three power play goals. Martin St. Louis had some important assists, six in the last three games to be specific, and Mats Zuccarello did what we have seen from him in every game this season. He scored, he played hard, he got in the opponents’ faces, and he stirred things up all over the ice. The Rangers were able to hold the Flyers’ top point scorers to invisible status. Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, and Jakub Voracek didn’t make the stat sheets at all, save Simmonds two shots on goal and a hit, Vorascek’s three hits, and Giroux’s single hit. Noted as a “tough guy”, it was difficult to even notice Simmonds on the ice in game one. The Rangers’ fourth line stood out as the shut down line they have been all year. Brian Boyle had four shots, four hits, and three take aways in game one. Derek Dorsett posted one shot and one hit but he was very noticeable on the ice, he was playing hard and showing why he deserved to be on that “tough as nails” fourth line. Dominic Moore registered one shot and had a 64% win rating on face-offs. None of the trio registered more than 10 minutes of even strength time in the game; Boyle and Dorsett each played on special teams but had well under 12 minutes total for the game.
The New York Rangers aren’t looking for any changes in their line-up. They are going to go out and play the same way they did in game one and are looking for the game two win against the Flyers.
The Rangers do need to keep in mind that the Flyers will come out much harder in game two and are going to play with a vengeance. The Rangers will have to adjust for the increased Flyers’ presence and will have to step up their game even further. They also need to make sure they maintain control of the puck and set the tempo of the game to what they want; if they plan to keep the Flyers from getting any momentum at all. Henrik Lundqvist will have to be ready for any and everything in net today.
The Flyers are looking to change everything! Head coach, Craig Berube, stated he will make changes to his team and how they attack in game two. This could mean anything from a team who started slow in the season and ended like a Serengeti lion chasing his prey. The Flyers are still without their top goalie, Steve Mason, and Steve Downie is also out; both with upper body injuries. It’s tough to be named Steve on the Flyers’ team! The Rangers are still without Chris Kreider‘s services for an undetermined length of time.