Posted April 02, 2012 on
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...
Scott Hartnell decided to have a little fun at the expense of a Pittsburgh Penguins' fan on Sunday.
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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.
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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.
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During the final minute of a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, a brawl erupted. But of course, this is hockey and there are always going to be brawls. Take a look above and see for yourself.
The Flyers ended up winning the game, 6-4.
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.