Tonight is the night the New York Rangers chose their fate. If they win tonight they move to the second round of the post season. A win for the Rangers sees them face the Pittsburgh Penguins next. A loss forces game seven in New York tomorrow night. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 ET.
The New York Rangers are coming into tonight’s game red-hot. Dominic Moore has two goals in the post season for three total points in five games. One of his goals is a game winner for the Rangers and his physical play is at the level of domination. Martin St. Louis had a goal taken away from him in game five and should be looking for retribution tonight. St. Louis has six points in five playoff games. Brad Richards has five points in as many games while Derek Stepan and Rick Nash have four points each; Nash has zero goals.
The Rangers aimed to shut down the Flyers top line from game one, and have been very successful. In their own right the Flyers have been equally successful at keeping the Rangers’ top production line muted. Mats Zuccarello, Benoit Pouliot, and Derick Brassard have combined for five points in five games with only two goals. Questions are still floating around regarding the health of Ryan McDonagh. While he is maintaining his ice time, he hasn’t registered a single point in the post season and his -1 rating is the only negative on the team.
The Flyers came unglued in game five. There is no way around it. The third period turned into a dive fest with Flyers looking for any call they could get from the referees. Players were caught giving the one finger salute to fans in the stands. Only four of the Flyers are skating out of the negative rating zone; two of those four are at zero. Claude Giroux and Luke Schenn are the only players with positive ratings. Giroux has only three points in five games. There are no Flyers on streaks or even playing hot. They are all struggling; it’s a microcosm of the team’s full season.
The Rangers have outscored the Flyers 14-9 in five games. Henrik Lundqvist has a1.81 goals against average in the series and a .926 save percentage having faced 122 shots. Ray Emery has a 3.49 goals against average with a .888 save percentage after facing 89 shots and allowing 10 goals. Steve Mason returned from injury to face 62 shots and post a .935 save percentage with a 1.92 goals against average.
In order for the Rangers to close this series out tonight, they have to play their own game. They cannot get caught up in the atmosphere set by the Flyers’ fans. They’ve got to play a clean game and capitalize on their power play opportunities. Here’s hoping for a great game, no injuries, and one more win for the New York Rangers!