Game Preview: Flyers/Rangers
The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes which extended their current winning streak to four. This game saw Scott Hartnell "Step Up" with two goals and his line grab a total of five points in the absence of Briere.
The Flyers are 5-3 in eight home games this season for a total of ten points ranking them third in the league.
The Rangers are coming off of a 3-2 win in New York against the Chicago Blackhawks. In that game Brandon Dubinsky netted two goals, one in the first period and a power play goal in the third. The Rangers are 5-2 in their last seven games and have a 4-1-0 road record this season tying them for fourth in the NHL.
The Flyers have a slight edge overall versus the New York Rangers, they are 110-108-37 and 61-52-14 at home.Everyone remembers that the last time these two teams met was the last game of the regular season.The whole Flyers season rested on this game and it's results.
The Flyers won the game 3-2 in an OT shoot out facing one of the better shoot out goalies in the league,Henrik Lunqvist. The Flyers were not a good team in shoot outs last season or any season since the inception, which made this win even more dramatic.
It also set the tone for the amazing playoff run which saw them beat the odds and come back from a 3-0 game deficit against the Boston Bruins that resulted in a Stanley Cup appearance.
Tonight we will look at this segment from a different angle, there are nine players who have played for the Flyers and the Rangers on the roster.
The Flyers have four former Rangers: Blair Betts, Ian Laperriere, Nikolay Zherdev and Jody Shelley.
For the Rangers there are five former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron, Vinny Prospal, Steve Eminger, Todd White and Ruslan Fedotenko.
In The Nets
For the Flyers it seems Sergei Brobrovsky (6-2-0) 2.39 GAA and a .939 SV% has taken over the number one job in Michael Leighton's absence. He has had two days off between games and is 4-0 and has a 2.00 GAA and a .934 SV% during the Flyers current four game winning streak. So expect him to get his first start against the blue shirts tonight.
The Rangers will most likely start Henrik Lunqvist (5-3-1) 2.67 GAA .923 SV% against the Flyers tonight. He was 3-2-1 2.05 GAA versus the Flyers last year, five of the six meetings were decided by two goals or less.
Lunqvist has an overall winning record of 14-7-3 2.79 GAA and two shut outs in 26 games against the Flyers. Last year on the road in Philly Lunqvist posted a 1-1-1 record with a 1.31 GAA in those games including the last game of the season where he turned away 46 shots before being beat twice in the shoot out.
Two guys on the ice tonight to keep an eye on are Jody Shelley #45 for the Flyers and Derek Boogaard #94 for the New York Rangers. Since the 2005-2006 season Shelley and Boogard have squared off four times and Boogard has gotten the upper hand in all.
Boogard is 6'7 265 and has a big reach and has a visual advantage against the 6'3 230 Jody Shelley. Shelley and Boogard last fought on New Years Eve in 2008 .
One fight that Flyers fans would love to see would be between Dan Carcillo #13 of the Flyers and the Rangers Sean Avery #16, these two teams antagonizers. Look for those two to cause havoc and controversy when they are out on the ice tonight.
On the Lookout
Aside from the four players mentioned above, look for this game to be a rough one up and down both teams lineups with plenty of hits and scrums in the corners and along the boards. Both teams have been blocking shots well as of late and look to keep the shots on goal down and blocks up.
Goaltenders appreciate when their player lays out to block a screaming shot but not often do you see the appreciation. In the Flyers last game against Caroliona Dan Carcillo blocked a shot on net from the point and was shaken on the play. Flyers goalie that night Sergei Bobrovsky skated out to the blue line to tap him on the butt as a thank you .
The Flyers power play has been pretty good lately and will look to continue that tonight. Mike Richards, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell have been hot lately for the Flyers.
The Rangers Ryan Callahan #24 has been hot and is currently on a seven game point streak his longest of his career. Brandon Dubinsky #17 and Artem Anisimov #42 and Callahan have netted five of the teams last eight goals.
One more player to keep an eye on is former Flyer Ruslan Fedotenko he always seems to find a way to raise his level of play against the Flyers.
The Flyers have to play a disciplined game tonight and not get lured into taking retaliatory penalties.The Rangers are coming in here tonight with the memory of being knocked out of the playoffs on the last game of the season and will seek revenge.
Here are a couple quotes from Rangers defensemen Michael Del Zotto: "I'd say revenge is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this game." "It feels just like yesterday that it happened even though it was a quite a few months ago. That memory doesn't go away."
Alot of times these game are what fans drool over and more times than not they disappoint because it has been over hyped. Let's hope this game is an entertaining one with lots of hits a few fights and a few goals.
When the Flyers get the man advantage tonight they have to make it count, Lunqvist is good and doesn't give up much, they cannot afford to waste those opportunities.
On the flip side if the game starts to get out of hand and play becomes undisciplined the Flyers PK will have to be on top of it's game. Look for Eric Wellwood to continue his strong play by utilizing his speed and aggressive work ethic, let's hope he nets his first one tonight.
The Flyer players will be growing mustaches in the month of November as support for Prostate Cancer awareness month.We know Dan Carcillo grows a nice 80's pornstache, who else on the Flyers do you think will give him a run for his money ?
Step Up Players
JVR, Shelley, Pronger