Tonight the New York Rangers face the Philadelphia Flyers from Broad Street. The puck is set to drop at 8pm; check your local listings for channels. The teams have split the series thus far with one win each.
Tonight Henrik Lundqvist will again lead the Rangers against Ray Emery and his Flyers. The Rangers have lost their last three games in Philadelphia, but they have the highest number of road wins in the eastern conference this season with 25. This year marks the first post season start for Emery since 2011, what a mix of events to have happen in one series. Steve Mason and Steve Downie are still out injured for the Flyers.
The New York Rangers had 12 power plays in the first two games of this series and converted on three. Those are not the numbers that help them win games. They have to start converting their opportunities with the man advantage. The Flyers have to have a good penalty kill because they don’t play a style of hockey that keeps them from committing infractions. This isn’t a secret and the Rangers have to start capitalizing.
The Rangers have done well to contain Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Vincent Lecavalier. Only Scott Hartnell has more than one point in the first two games for the Flyers, and Luke Schenn has the game winning goal credit from game two. Ray Emery has been the player making the biggest difference for his team. The Rangers have to play to his weaknesses and get him moving side to side a lot more.
The Rangers have six players with multiple points in the first two games, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis lead the team with three points each. Both have a goal and two assists. Four players have two points each including: Benoit Pouliot, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. Only four players are skating with a minus rating, two of whom have multiple points. John Moore is the only Rangers skating above a +1; he’s a +2 in the series. The Rangers are out playing the Flyers overall in the series, they just need to score more goals and they need a little more from Lundqvist. He has allowed four goals on 39 shots to give him a 2.02 goals against average and a .897 save percentage in the series. Those are not the numbers Lundqvist historically posts; they are sub-par. The Rangers do not have Chris Kreider back in the line-up yet, though Jesper Fast has been an impressive addition to the team. Fast finally got his first NHL point of the season so it’s time for him to break out now.
Tonight’s game is going to come down to which team plays their own game the best and controls themselves and the tempo. The puck will hit the net but it must be controlled.