Rangers at Flyers today

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Matinee at the Arena That Changes Names Every Five Minutes. Big game in this regard: If the Rangers can win this and get out of a week of Washington-Pitt-Phoenix-Philly 4-0, or even 3-0-1, that’s a really spectacular roll into a bit of a break.

The Flys are good, though. Really good, even if they lost Chris Pronger for a while with a foot injury. Jody Shelley returns from his suspension. Dale Weise hopes to make his NHL debut for the Rangers. He was recalled after a Ryan Callahan injury last season, but Callahan played that night.

Here are the pre-game notes from the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS at PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Saturday, Dec. 18, 1:00 p.m.
Wells Fargo Center • Philadelphia, PA

Rangers: 20-13-1 (41 pts)
Flyers: 21-7-5 (47 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Dec. 16

TODAY’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (1:00 p.m.). The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 20-13-1 (41 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in a shootout at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to three games, and are now 13-6-0 in their last 19 games. New York has won five of their last six games on the road. The Flyers enter the contest with a 21-7-5 (47 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have won each of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, Dec. 23, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

  • TV: MSG Network
    12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
    1:00 p.m. – Rangers at Flyers
    Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
  • Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
    12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bob Galerstein
    1:00 p.m. – Rangers at Flyers
    Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. FLYERS:

  • All-Time: The Rangers are 108-104-37-7 all-time against the Flyers: 56-45-23-4 at home and 52-59-14-3 on the road
  • 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the second of six meetings between the Rangers and Flyers this season, and the second of three games in Philadelphia. New York is 0-1-0 vs. the Flyers thus far, following a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 4.
  • Last Season: The Rangers were 3-2-1 against the Flyers in 2009-10, including a 1-1-1 mark in Philadelphia. Five of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including three that were decided by one goal.
  • The Blueshirts rank first in the NHL on the road with a record of 12-5-0 (24 pts) in 17 games; the Flyers have posted a record of 11-5-2 (24 pts) at home to rank fifth in the league
  • The Rangers have posted a record of 6-3-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Flyers are 8-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
  • Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 14-8-3 with a 2.84 goals against average and two shutouts in 27 career regular season games against the Flyers; Martin Biron is 9-6-2-0 with a 2.12 goals against average in 17 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia
  • Chris Drury has registered a team-high, 19 assists and 28 points in 39 career regular season games vs. the Flyers; Ruslan Fedotenko leads the Rangers with 13 goals in 33 career games against Philadelphia
  • Dan Girardi has recorded more career assists/points (15 assists/points in 25 games) vs. the Flyers than any other team
  • New York lists four former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Vinny Prospal (1996-97 – 1997-98, 2007-08); Todd White (1999-00)
  • Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005-06 – 2008-09); Ian Laperriere (1995-96); Jody Shelley (2009-10); Nikolay Zherdev (2008-09)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-six rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for sixth in the league.

  • Power Play: The Rangers notched one goal in five power play opportunities (8:05) on Thursday vs. the Coyotes, and have now registered a goal on the man advantage in seven of the last eight games (7-31, 22.6% over the span). New York ranks 15th in the NHL with a 17.5% (22-126) success rate, and ranks eighth on the road with a 20.7% (12-58) success rate. The Rangers notched one goal in one, five-on-three chance (0:30) on Nov. 24 at Tampa Bay, and are now 1-5 on five-on-three attempts (5:01). New York is 0-2 (2:23) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (2): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly).
  • Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered two goals in four shorthanded situations (3:48) and notched one goal on Thursday vs. Phoenix, and are now 58-67 (86.6%) over the last 22 games. New York ranks 16th in the NHL with a 81.7% (98-120) success rate, and ranks 14th in the league on the road with a 81.8% (54-66) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:31) on Oct. 30 at Toronto, and are 4-6 on three-on-fives (5:08) this season. The Blueshirts held the Penguins scoreless in one, three-on-four situation on Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh, and are now 4-6 (2:41) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (8): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust).
  • Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two, four-on-four situations (6:14) on Thursday vs. Phoenix, and are now plus-three in 26, four-on-four situations (45:22) this season. Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
The Rangers have posted a record of 14-4-2 (30 pts) in their last 20 games at Philadelphia, dating back to a 3-1 win on Mar. 27, 2004. Henrik Lundqvist has registered a career 7-3-1 mark in Philadelphia.

COMEBACK KIDS
New York enters today’s contest riding a three-game winning streak, having won each of their last two games despite trailing by a goal entering the third period. The last time the Rangers won consecutive games when trailing after two periods was during the 2008-09 season, on Nov. 15 vs. Boston (3-2) and Nov. 17 vs. Ottawa (2-1). Both games required the shootout. The Blueshirts have never won three consecutive games when trailing after the second period.

20-WINS
The Rangers registered their 20th win of the season with Thursday’s 4-3 shootout win vs. Phoenix, reaching the mark in just 34 games which is tied for 12th fastest in franchise history (full list below).

  • 28 (1993-94)
  • 29 (1971-72)
  • 30 (1941-42)
  • 31 (1939-40, 1970-71)
  • 32 (2005-06)
  • 33 (1938-39, 1972-73, 1991-92, 1995-96, 2008-09)
  • 34 (1937-38, 2010-11)

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Compared to last season, the Blueshirts have shown a five wins, eight points improvement (four wins, six points on the road), having tallied 10 more goals (including a five-goal improvement while shorthanded) while allowing 13 fewer goals against through 34 games:
2010-11                                   2009-10
20-13-1 (41 pts) overall          15-16-3 (33 pts) overall
12-5-0 (24 pts) away               8-7-2 (18 pts) away
104 goals                                 94 goals
8 shorthanded goals               3 shorthanded goals
87 goals against                      100 goals against

ROAD WARRIORS
The Rangers are off to their best start through 17 road games in franchise history, registering a league-high 12 wins and posting a 12-5-0 mark away from MSG this season. The Blueshirts rank among the NHL leaders in several road statistical categories, including first in shorthanded goals (five), third in goals (53), eighth in power play percentage (20.7%), and tied for seventh in power play goals (12). In addition, Henrik Lundqvist leads the NHL with 10 road wins, and Brandon Dubinsky is tied for eighth in the NHL with eight road goals and 14th in scoring with 15 road points.

BACK-TO-BACKS
The Rangers completed their ninth of 18 back-to-back sets with a 4-3 shootout win vs. Phoenix on Thursday. The Blueshirts improved to 9-0-0 (4-0-0 at home, 5-0-0 on the road) in the second game of back-to-backs this season, having out-scored their opponent, 31-9, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 18-2-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 8-1-1 mark at MSG and 10-1-1 on the road over the span.

STARTING STRONG
The Blueshirts have started games off strong this season, tallying the first goal of the game in 21 of their 34 games and posting a record of 15-5-1 in those contests. The Rangers own a record of 10-1-1 when leading after the first period, having out-scored their opponent, 23-17, in the opening frame.

TEAM EFFORT
The Rangers have had 12 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season which leads the NHL, and are one ahead of Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington.

LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
The Rangers currently lead the NHL with 988 hits and 559 blocked shots. Ryan Callahan ranked second in the league with 128 hits and led all NHL forwards with 40 blocked shots prior to his injury on Dec. 15, while Dan Girardi currently leads the league with 100 blocked shots and Brian Boyle is tied for ninth in the NHL with 96 hits.

THE HOT LIST:

  • The Rangers lead the league in shorthanded goals (eight), are tied for third in wins (20), rank fourth in points (41), are tied for third in goals (104), and rank sixth with a plus-17 goal differential
  • Henrik Lundqvist is 7-3-0 with a 1.58 goals against average, a .940 save percentage and three shutouts in his last 10 games
  • Marc Staal enters the contest with a four-game scoring streak (two goals, three assists over the span), and has recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games
  • Dan Girardi enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak, registering one goal and four assists over the span
  • Marian Gaborik has tallied 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his last 17 games
  • Brandon Dubinsky has registered seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last eight games
  • Brian Boyle has registered six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games
  • Brandon Prust has tallied six points (four goals, two assists) in the last eight games, including three shorthanded points (two goals, one assist) over the span
  • Michal Rozsival has recorded four assists in the last five contests
  • Sean Avery has registered five assists in the last eight games

WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP HOPEFULS
Blueshirts’ prospects Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque have been invited to USA Hockey’s evaluation camp for the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York. This would be the second trip to the elite tournament for both Kreider and Bourque, if selected, having both represented the gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship.  Roman Horak has also been invited to attend the Czech Republic’s evaluation camp, while Jesper Fasth is on Team Sweden’s preliminary roster.  If selected, this would be Horak’s second appearance at the World Junior Championship, having represented his native country in last year’s tournament. Fasth is looking to make his first appearance in the elite tournament.

MILESTONES APPROACHING:

  • Marian Gaborik: 1 game from 600 NHL career
  • Dan Girardi: 1 point from 100 NHL career

INJURIES:

  • Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 34
  • Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 4
  • Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 1

Total Man-Games Lost: 101

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • Dec. 17 – Recalled forward Dale Weise from Connecticut

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54 Comments

  1. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Rangers better keep winning, the Knicks own NYC once again. Rangers always need to do well to get off the “step child” albatross.

  2. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    You listen to The Fan, it’s all Yankees, Mets,Giants, Jets, and Knicks, and mostly whining, at that. This lousy GM, that over-paid player, etc. Nobody calling in appears to know how to spell “hockey.” I think The Fan should devote a couple hours a day exclusively to each of the town’s sports teams, including a couple hours of just Rangers talk and calls from listeners. Rangers should lobby The Fan, for this. They are one hell of a well-kept secret in this town.

    Also I notice no host ever even mentions college football on The Fan. No calls re college football, either. Shame the Metropolitan area has no major college football team, other than bottom-feeding Rutgers in the Big East. I have never understood why NYU refuses to bring back big-time football and basketball? They could own New York in college football, and play some games in Yankee Stadium, and revive the great basketball rivalry with St. John’s. But all they want to be is Haverford College Lite, it seems. Some “big town” concept there, right Mr. Francesa?

  3. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    How about: Rangers Talk, 6-8 am; Mets Talk, 8-10 am; Knicks Talk, 10-12 noon; Yankees Talk, Noon-2 pm; Jets Talk, 2 pm – 4 pm, Giants Talk 4 pm- 6pm drive time, in season. How would that hurt the station’s listener ratings?

  4. Gift of GAB-orik on

    I was watching the ‘unlikely scraps’ fight videos on NHL.com…. Lemieux fought Gary Lupul in like 1983 or something…. and POUNDED him.

    Gretzky scrapped too…. but didn’t do so well.

    haha great old time footage!

  5. Gift of GAB-orik on

    The Knicks were bulding momentum until they lost to Boston and got SPANKED by the Heat. It’s nice that the Knicks are somewhat relevant again… but the Rangers still own MSG.

  6. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " We are too good!!!"...& Greg L. on

    WTG Carp ,great stuff here!! Im off but will be back come “go time”

    Winning is fun , lets have sum fun today folks!!!

  7. Joekuh-rury-mire on

    Gab the heat kicked our assens in the 2nd half. it was 57 all at the end of the 1st. The more we get used to playing with each other, the more we’ll be able to stay with teams like them. We’ve got the talent.

  8. Noah-allahan, 28 on

    Be careful what you wish for re: hockey talk on The Fan. Besides Somers, no host on that station knows ANYTHING about the sport. I once heard an interview Francesa had with Melrose and Francesa sounded like he was just born and learning the players and the game from him…it was so embarrassing.

    That’s why Somers is the best. He can switch gears and roll with the tide and, most importantly, is not condescending to his callers and lets them speak (even if they disagree with him).

    Sorry, didn’t mean to go all Phil Mushnick in this post.

  9. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    Good Game Day Morning ‘Heads!!!

    as you can see, today is Flavah’s birthday, which means he’ll get a Gordie Howe hattrick today!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    I am freakin sick on a weekend, but feel sooooo good about the game today! Gonna be tough and tense, but I have a feeling they will win.

  10. Gift of GAB-orik on

    Feel better Linda!!

    Looking forward to tonight, and hoping the Rangers keep this great effort going!

    Joekuh- NYK are definately starting to gel, i’m a big Raymond Felton fan from his days at UNC, and he’s a good compliment to A’mare. I wasn’t sold on him when he first got here i’ll admit… and his injury history still worries me… but he’s got me eating crow right now.

    It’s nice to have buzz at the garden for both teams! Circa 94!

  11. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    Thanks Gab!!!

    Felton? Related to the backup goalie for the Yotes? ;-)

    I am NOT a basketball fan, but it’s good to see that the Knicks are doing pretty decently.

  12. Noah, I was going to say the same thing. No hockey talk is better than a bunch of people talking that don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

    Do you realize that even though the Rangers are ranked 5th in the conference they have the 3rd most points? Who’d a thunk it?

  13. The Knicks are playing already? I thought basketball season starts in April. Or was it baseball? :-)

    Feel better, Linda.

  14. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    lol ilb, and thanks. supposed to go out tonight, but if I’m not feeling better, I cant. They don’t allow you to work at my place if your ‘sick’ sick, and i’m already not getting paid for 2 days next week, so i have to work the first 3!

  15. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    NIIIIIIIIIIIIICE TONY!! if Flavah scores today, I will definitely toast to him!!! Right now, vitamins and orange juice! lol

  16. Gift of GAB-orik on

    Lin… alcohol kills germs. By that logic Southern Comfort is in the same category as Robitussin, Advil, and Tylenol.

    Time to medicate!! haha.

    Hopefully Chef Boyle-ardee can cook up some more goals…. GO RANGERS!!

  17. Good morning all! The only reason I’m awake is for this stinking 1 p.m. start or I’d still be snoozing. So they better win!!!! As part of my bizarro dreams last night, I swear, I kept having trouble catching the game on tv, and when I did, they were up 10-7 in the 3rd.

    LGR!

  18. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    Chef Boyle-ardee, that is firetruckin HILARIOUS!!!

    thanks Laurel. I just hope I’m better so I can get my 3 days in at work! And if I bake cookies this weekend, I’ll wear a mask lol!

  19. It would be nice to see Avery annoying the hell out of the orange today, get in richards/carter faces hun? LQ needs a big one today, no let down no softies and we get out with the 2pts.

  20. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    i know this sounds mean, because it IS for a charity… BUT

    *I HOPE NOONE GETS A TASTE OF TASTY KAKES TODAY!!!*

  21. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    Hedberg, I’m thinking we’ll see another round of Dubi and Dichards today

  22. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    bravo Gab! hehe

    ‘sending Chriiiiiiiiiiiiistmaaaaas caaaaaaaaaaaaaaards’

  23. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    one hour until the next BIG TEST for OUR NEW YORK RANGERS!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!

  24. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    “FINE!! If you’re so smart, YOU RIG UP THE LIGHTS!!!!!”

  25. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    lmao nora, that dude, the christmas card dude and the ‘hangovers’ dude crack me up

  26. Linda CalPrustBoylahan HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLAVAH!! on

    i just fixed google!!!!!!!! it’s been driving me crazy for months! lol

  27. Doodie machetto on

    Stuck Christmas shopping today. The bright side is the radio broadcast will be without Pardon Me Micheletti.

  28. Doodie machetto on

    The more I watch MDZ, the less I like him. Just consistently terrible decisions with the puck. How long until he cant just get a pass on his potential?

  29. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Re MDZ and “potential,” this is what, Staal’s 4th year with the big club, and FINALLY he is on pace to score double figures in goals. It is a long, process, with the added complication that if you do not school the best of the young players at the NHL level, early, they show up as journeymen around age 26, and that is not how you build toward a Cup championship. Chicago did alright in the playoffs last year, as their former teen-age prodigies matured into big producers and led the way to the brass ring. MDZ gets at least a couple more years to sort it out, in my book. He does bring some positives to the game.

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