Flyers-Rangers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 28, 2013
After a poor start, the New York Rangers appear to be getting on track. That also seemed to be the case for the Philadelphia Flyers - until their last outing. These Atlantic Division rivals meet for the second time in six days Tuesday night in a matchup of teams trying to move past sputtering beginnings. The Rangers (2-3-0) have looked better in winning two of three since stumbling at the outset. The loss in that span, though, was a 2-1 defeat at Philadelphia on Thursday. The Flyers (2-4-0) got goals from Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek in the second period and held New York scoreless until Taylor Pyatt converted on the power play early in the third. The victory allowed Philadelphia to avoid an 0-3 start. New York managed to bounce back Saturday, scoring five unanswered goals - four in the third period - to beat Toronto 5-2. Marian Gaborik had two goals and two assists for the Rangers, who held a 42-17 shot advantage. "We knew if we were going to play like this, it's going to turn around,'' Gaborik said. "Even though after the second period we were down, you could see the confidence in this room that we felt good about ourselves.'' Eight of New York's 13 goals in the past four games have come in the third period or overtime. "I'm glad we won, I'm glad the way we won also, that we didn't lose our composure ... do we have all the answers, are we all set? No," coach John Tortorella said. "We're still going to have to continue to work at our game." That certainly applies to the Rangers' power play, which is ranked toward the bottom of the NHL at 9.1 percent. New York went 0 for 4 with the man advantage Saturday. The Rangers' top line of Gaborik - who's among the league leaders with five goals - along with Brad Richards and Rick Nash powered the win over the Leafs, and the club could use a similar performance Tuesday after Tortorella called that group "invisible" against the Flyers last week. Philadelphia shut down that line and followed up the victory by routing Florida 7-1 on Saturday, but the Flyers took a step back the next day, losing 5-1 to Tampa Bay. Philadelphia allowed the Lightning to score twice on five power plays - its 42 minor penalties are by far the most in the NHL - while going 0 for 6 itself to drop to 12.9 percent with the man advantage. Sean Couturier opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game for the Flyers, who have managed two or fewer goals in four of their five contests. The club was closing out its second set of back-to-back games. "We can't use that as an excuse," forward Matt Read told the team's official website. "Everyone's playing a lot of games in a short amount of time. When you're playing back to back, you've got to keep it simple and play smart hockey. We've got to learn how to play both nights and come to play for 60 minutes every game, every night."
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