Posted April 02, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Despite a loss in their last game, the New York Rangers need just one point to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Completing their first season sweep of the archrival Philadelphia Flyers in 40 years would certainly be an impressive way to achieve that goal.
The Rangers will try again to secure their first No. 1 seed since 1993-94 on Tuesday night as they face a Flyers team that's all but locked into a playoff matchup with Pittsburgh.
New York (50-22-7) couldn't finish another season sweep in its last outing, falling 2-1 to Boston on Sunday as its four-game winning streak was snapped and it failed to close out the East race.
If the Rangers gain a point or the Penguins don't win their final three games, New York will secure the East crown. The club can set a team record for victories by winning its final three contests, which would push it past the '93-'94 Stanley Cup-winning edition.
"We weren't really thinking about it too much," captain Ryan Callahan said of the Rangers hitting the ice Sunday with a chance to clinch. "Right along here we've been saying that we're concentrating on our game, what we need to do, and if we do what we have to do then everything else will fall into place."
Focus hasn't been an issue against Philadelphia this season, with New York winning all five matchups by a combined 19-8. The Rangers, who took the last meeting 5-2 at the Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 11, last swept the Flyers in 1971-72 by winning all six games.
"You definitely don't go into a game thinking about one point," center Brad Richards said after the defeat to the Bruins. " ... We all know what's at stake, but we've still got three games left in the season to continue to do what we want to do here."
New York is also tied with Vancouver and one point up on St. Louis in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.
Philadelphia (46-24-9) appears headed for a first-round meeting with Pittsburgh - one that seems certain to be heated after the Flyers' 6-4 victory over the Penguins on Sunday. Jakub Voracek scored twice as the Flyers recorded four goals in the third period, and the game deteriorated into an extended brawl with just over a minute to play that left coaches of both teams screaming at each other across the glass.
"Playoffs are coming, and we're not gonna back down," said center Claude Giroux, who had a goal and two assists.
While Philadelphia may be all but set to face Pittsburgh in the postseason, the teams are still battling for home ice in that likely matchup. The Flyers pulled to within one point of the Penguins for the fourth seed, and the teams meet in their season finale Saturday.
Philadelphia has gone 4-1-1 in its last six overall but has dropped its last two at home, giving up nine goals in defeats to Ottawa and Tampa Bay.
New York's Marian Gaborik scored his 40th goal Sunday and has five goals and three assists in his last five games. He has three goals and four assists versus Philadelphia in 2011-12.
Callahan recorded a hat trick in the teams' last meeting and has eight goals - two fewer than Philadelphia has totaled - during the Rangers' seven-game series win streak.
The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, who has made a season-high nine straight starts, has posted a 1.60 goals-against average and one shutout in starting each game against Philadelphia this season.
BEST OF MAXIM
Marian Gaborik is enjoying only his third year as a member of the New York Rangers organization, but already he is a name that will forever be recognized in Blueshirt history.
Gaborik’s breakaway goal on Tim Thomas in the first period of Sunday’s tilt with the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden, as you know, was the Slovak Sniper’s 40th of the 2011-12 season. Anyone...
It took long enough, but it looks like Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards are finally clicking the way the Rangers envisioned last July 2nd when they inked Brad Richards to a huge free agent signing. After playing on the same line together with a left wing spot that was basically a revolving door for the [...]
With the top seed in the Eastern Conference all but wrapped up (the Rangers need one point in the next three games, or a Pittsburgh loss of any kind), the attention has turned to the playoffs. The Rangers will either get Florida, Washington, or Buffalo in the first round, and it’s tough to say that the Rangers are more experienced than any of those teams in the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that forward Danny Briere is out indefinitely with an upper-back contusion suffered Sunday when he was decked in the third period by a clean hit from Penguins forward Joe Vitale.
That hit helped instigate sparked an on-ice scuffle that resulted in 62 minutes in penalties, including one fighting major for both teams, and the ejections of Philadelphia...
Scott Hartnell decided to have a little fun at the expense of a Pittsburgh Penguins' fan on Sunday.
During the waning moments of the Philadelphia Flyers' 6-4 victory over their Atlantic Division rival on Sunday, Hartnell mocked the fan - who had a striking resemblance to Hulk Hogan - by doing the former pro wrestler's signature move of cupping his hand to his ear.
John Tortorella discusses the team's current performance and what the team needs to do to prepare for the playoffs...
Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards and Marion Gaborik talk about the team's recent performance and what they are doing to step up their game for the upcoming playoffs...
Brandon Prust, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto talk about the team's recent...
With the Philadelphia Flyers losing a point against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon, the New York Rangers officially clinched home ice advantage in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you recall, prior to the start of the season the team's common goal, within the locker room at least, was to earn home ice advantage by claiming a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference...
Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was fined $10,000 by the NHL for his actions in the waning minutes of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Laviolette broke a stick and screamed at Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma after Flyers center Daniel Briere was flattened by Pittsburgh's Joe Vitale.
Pittsburgh assistant coach Tony Granato, who got between the coaches...
With the Pittsburgh Penguins falling to the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice earlier in the afternoon, the opportunity was there for the New York Rangers to clinch first place in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with just a point in their game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday evening. Unfortunately for New York, they were unable to earn that single point and had...
Danny Briere was injured by a hit from Pittsburgh Center Joe Vitale. Briere is out indefnitely with a back contusion.
The Philadelphia Flyers won an important matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, but the fallout from the game, and the brawl that ensued in the final minutes continued to be felt today.
Danny Briere was hit hard late in the game yesterday by Pittsburgh center...
Standings: Flyers (46-24-9), Rangers (50-22-7)
NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (40-34-74)
PHI Leading Scorer: Claude Giroux (28-61-89)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (60 GS, 1.92 GAA, .930 SV%)
PHI Goaltender: Ilya Bryzgalov (55 GS, 2.46 GAA, .910 SV%)
Rangers Lines (probable):
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan
Danny Briere didn't have to meet with the media today to discuss his injury.
Curiously, the Flyers allowed him to talk even though he is listed as out indefinitely. Every other player who was injured and out for more than day-to-day this season, has been off limits to the media.
But Briere wanted to talk and asked GM Paul Holmgren if he could.
He doesn't have any...
NEW YORK (April 2, 2012)—Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato have been fined $10,000 and $2,500, respectively, for their actions late in NHL Game #1185 at Pittsburgh, Sunday, April 1, the National Hockey League announced today.