The New York Rangers (1-2-0) are in Philadelphia to face the Flyers (0-3-0) at 7:00 EST.
Tonight's pre-game notes from the official Rangers website can be viewed here.
TV: MSG, NHL Network ; Radio: AM 1130 or XM 212
Live Stream can be viewed here (avoid clicking on Ads)
(Keep reading for the rest of tonight's pre-game notes.)
Projected Lineups (subjected to change):
Michael Del Zotto
Adam's Pre-Game Notes and Essentials
Keep The Streak Alive: The Rangers have won their past eight games against the Philadelphia Flyers, with the last loss coming February 20th, 2011. Suffice to say that the Rangers have the Flyers' number in recent games. Of course, it's a new season with new lineups and no guarantees. The worst thing the Rangers could do is become complacent on the road against a Flyers team desperate to end both their current losing streak and running losing streak against the Rangers.
Claude Giroux: Injuries to Scott Hartnell and Daniel Briere as well as a suspension handed down to Brayden Schenn mean that the Flyers will be playing tonight without three important, point producing forwards. While of course there are still other guys capable of generating offense, the focus clearly should be on Claude Giroux, whom the Flyers will be heavily relying on for creating offense tonight. While McDonagh and Girardi will probably start the night as the top pairing, don't be surprised to see John Tortorella put Marc Staal on the ice against Giroux whenever possible. Staal might just be the Rangers' best 1 v 1 defenseman and Tortorella has matched him up against other teams' top forwards (Ovechkin, Eric Staal to name two) in the past. Him coming off a strong game against the Bruins doesn't hurt his cause, either.
Ryan Callahan: Backed by two hat-tricks, Captain America has nine goals in his last ten games against the Philadelphia Flyers. And of those nine goals, six have come on the power play. For whatever reason, the Flyers have been helpless in defending Ryan Callahan when he plants in front of or near the net on the man advantage. Given the lack of fluidity in the Rangers' powerplay right now a deflection or rebound goal would be a welcome sight.
Stay Out Of The Box: The Rangers have been shorthanded 17 times so far this season, which ties them with Pittsburgh for most in the league. Granted, this is somewhat warped by the fact that a handful of teams have only played two games, but the problem is clear; the Rangers are taking too many penalties. Boston was completely out of the picture last night until a string of penalties allowed them to build momentum and get back in it. Especially in a physical game like most Flyers-Rangers matchups tend to be, I am resigned to the fact that a penalty or two will inevitably happen. But the Rangers can not afford to string together multiple penalties every five to seven minutes like they did last night.
Forecheck, Forecheck, Forecheck: Look at the list of Flyers' defenseman. Kimmo Timmonen had good wheels five years ago when he wasn't 37, and Andrej Meszaros is coming off of a serious achilles injury. The other four - Coburn, Grossman, Schenn, and Foster - are big, bulky defenseman ranging whose speed and agility ranges from "mediocre" to "brutal." Even without Kreider in the lineup, the Rangers have a number of guys with serious speed. Hagelin, Nash, Gaborik, Richards, Pyatt and to a lesser degree Callahan and Stepan should be able to make the transition game and backchecking absolutely miserable for the Flyers' defensemen. A comatose forecheck would be a waste of a significant advantage the Rangers have over the Flyers.
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