The New York Rangers look to redeem themselves tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. They are coming off one of their worst efforts of the season, a 3-0 shutout at thehands of the Islanders. It was an awful game and the hope has to be that the Blueshirts will respond as they have in the past with a good game. One thing they cannot do is taking any opponent lightly over their last 13 games.
If there is a team the Rangers would like to play after a bad loss, it’s the Flyers. Since the all star break they have gone 6-14-3 and were in full sell mode at the trade deadline. Gone are Claude Giroux, Derick Brassard, German Rubstov, Connor Bunnaman and to the Rangers, Justin Braun. Since the sell off, they have lost five of six.
They are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs last night. Toronto scored four third period goals to break a 2-2 tie. Playing their second game in two nights and in a tailspin, the Flyers are ready to lose. This is a game the Rangers should win.
Coach Gerard Gallant was philosophical about Friday’s loss, preferring to stay away it when asked. His rationale was that they had addressed it and were moving on. That said, there looks to be some lineup changes for the game. Julien Gauthier in in the lineup. He hasn’t played since March 15, a healthy scratch for nine games. Reportedly, Jonny Brodzinski and Justin Braun are also in the lineup, but there is no word as to who will sit. Ryan Strome is still out with an injury.
The season series
The Rangers have won both games against the Flyers this season. They beat them 4-1 at Madison Square Garden on December 1 and 3-2 on January 15 on the road. Igor Shesterkin was in goal for both games. In the first game, the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead and won handily. The second game was a comeback as the Rangers got third period goals from Filip Chytil and Chris Kreider to overcome a 2-1 deficit for the win.
The playoff picture
The Avalanche did the Rangers a huge favor, beating the Penguins 3-2 in Denver. It had to be a bitter loss for the Pens as Devon Toews scored the winning goal just 27 seconds after Mike Matheson had scored for Pittsburgh to tie the game. The Rangers remain one point ahead of the Penguins now with a game in hand.
The Wild also did the Rangers a favor, beating Carolina 3-1. If the Blueshirts can win, they will pulll within three points of first place with 12 games to go. The Hurricanes do have a game in hand and a very favorable schedule.
In other Eastern Conference games, the Panthers beat Buffalo Sunday afternoon to clinch a playoff spot, this after coming back from a 6-2 deficit to beat the Devils in OT on Saturday. Toronto and Boston were winners and Tampa lost in a shootout to Montreal.
Projected starting lineups
Igor Shesterkin is definitely getting the start and is 3-3 lifetime against the Flyers after winning both of his starts this season. The lineup below is just a guess.
NEW YORK RANGERS
20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 77 Vatrano
23 Panarin – 18 Copp – 76 Brodzinski
13 Lafrenière – 72 Chytil – 12 Gauthier
64 Motte – 21 Goodrow– 75 Reaves
55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
15 Nemeth – 45 Schneider
* Justin Braun will play the right side, but no word on who is out
23 Oskar Lindblom – 13 Kevin Hayes – 11 Travis Konecny
49 Noah Cates – 86 Joel Farabee – 89 Cam Atkinson
25 James van Riemsdyk – 48 Morgan Frost – 74 Owen Tippett
44 Nate Thompson – 38 Patrick Brown – 17 Zack MacEwen
9 Ivan Provorov – 45 Cam York
Travis Sanheim – 70 Rasmus Ristolainen
3 Keith Yandle – 47 Ronnie Attard
35 Martin Jones
79 Carter Hart
Martin Jones should be getting the start after Hart was shelled by the Maple Leafs last night. Jones has a 8-14-3 record with a 3.40 GAA and .900 Sv%. He hasn’t faced the Rangers this season and is 3-3-1 lifetime. Keith Yandle’s ironman streak ended at 989 games when he was a healthy scratch for the Toronto game.
How to watch and the live conversation
The game starts at 7pm and will be televised locally on MSG+ with the national telecast on the NHL Network. LIve stream will be on ESPN+.
Blue Line Station’s live conversation is active and you can join your fellow Ranger fans as we cheer on our Blueshirts. You can join in the comments section below. We’ve had some pretty interesting games to talk about and tonight should be another one.