Rangers at Flyers today, oh my


So how was everybody’s Saturday night? What’s that? Carolina won? Montreal won? Buffalo got a Bettman Bonus Point?

Not so good, then, huh?

I thought, boy, the Islanders really did play hard against the Hurricanes; full marks to them, though you probably weren’t thrilled when Jack Capuano pulled his goalie. And the Capitals — with playoff positioning at stake — played very hard in coming back a bunch of times against the Baby Buffaloes … and tied it after pulling their goalie. And the Devils just laid down against Montreal, being mathematically eliminated along the way.

Well, we know this about your boys. They’re not going to back into the playoffs. They’re going to have to earn it in these last four games, starting today on NBC in Philly.

Want some good news (especially you, eric)? OK, Carolina plays Buffalo today. So that’s a good thing, as long as it’s not a three-point game. Not enough? OK, how about this: The Rangers are 14-5-2 in their last 21 games in Philadelphia. And the Flyers are without Chris Pronger, while the Rangers are without Mats Zuccarello, so that’s a wash.

The Rangers will need to win some games to get in, because, perhaps to our surprise, Buffalo and Carolina are closing unbelievably strongly. So today would be a good place to start. A good way to start to atone for that unacceptable, unforgivable performance on Long Island Thursday.

Some of you might want to watch away from sharp objects. Some might want to think about not watching at all.

As I said yesterday, let’s see what they got.

Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:

Sunday, Apr. 3, 12:30 p.m.
Wells Fargo Center • Philadelphia, PA
Rangers: 41-32-5 (87 pts)
Flyers: 46-22-10 (102 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Apr. 1

The Rangers will begin their 18th and final back-to-back set when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (12:30 p.m.), in the final road game of their 2010-11 regular season schedule. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 41-32-5 (87 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the New York Islanders, 6-2, on Thursday at Nassau Coliseum, and are now 8-3-1 in their last 12 contests. The Flyers enter the contest with a 46-22-10 (102 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six match-up Monday, Apr. 4, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back set.
*       TV: NBC
12:30 p.m. – Rangers at Flyers
*       Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
12:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
12:30 p.m. – Rangers at Flyers
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)


*       All-Time: 109-107-37-7 overall (57-47-23-4 at home, 52-60-14-3 on the road)
*       2010-11: Today is the sixth and final meeting this season, and the third at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers are 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 on the road. New York won their last meeting, 7-0, at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 6.
*       Last Season: New York was 3-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 on the road. Five games were decided by two goals or less, including three that were decided by one.
*       The Rangers rank eighth with a 23-16-1 (47 pts) record on the road; the Flyers rank 11th with a 21-12-6 (48 pts) mark at home
*       The Rangers are 12-9-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Flyers are 16-4-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
*       Henrik Lundqvist is 15-10-3 with a 2.79 GAA and three shutouts in 30 career regular season appearances vs. Philadelphia; Chad Johnson has posted a 4.50 GAA in one appearance (no decision) vs. the Flyers
*       Bryan McCabe has recorded a team-high, 33 assists and 39 points in 54 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia; Vinny Prospal leads the team with 15 goals in 44 career regular season games vs. the Flyers
*       New York lists four former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Ruslan Fedotenko (2000-01 – 2001-02); Vinny Prospal (1996-97 – 1997-98, 2007-08)
*       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)

The Blueshirts have posted a plus-12 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks fifth in the league.

*       Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in eight power play opportunities (12:43) on Thursday at Long Island, and are now 13-61 (21.3%) in their last 17 games. New York ranks 15th overall (48-279, 17.2%) and 21st on the road (20-136, 14.7%). The Rangers are 4-14 (12:08) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/31 at NYI), and 0-6 (8:36) when four-on-three (last – 3/24 vs. OTT). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards); 3/20 at PIT (Kunitz).
*       Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Islanders scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:00) on Thursday at Long Island. New York is tied for 12th overall (208-250, 83.2%) and ranks ninth on the road (113-135, 83.7%). The Rangers are 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (11): 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); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust); 3/15 vs. NYI (Prust).
*       Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Thursday at Long Island, and are now plus-four in 62, four-on-four situations (123:31). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello); 3/4 at OTT (Stepan); 3/6 vs. PHI (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson).

The Rangers have posted a record of 14-5-2 (30 pts) in their last 21 games at Philadelphia, dating back to a 3-1 win on Mar. 27, 2004. Henrik Lundqvist has registered a career 7-4-1 mark in Philadelphia.

The Rangers will begin their 18th and final back-to-back set today at Philadelphia. New York is 9-7-1 (3-2-0 at home, 6-5-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 11-6-0 (4-2-0 at home, 7-4-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 45-32, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 20-8-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-1 on the road over the span.

The Blueshirts are the only team in the NHL who are undefeated when leading after two periods, posting a record of 27-0-0 in those contests. The Rangers rank fourth in the league with a plus-20 goal differential in the third period (80 goals for, 59 goals against).


*       The Rangers’ 41 wins are tied for 11th most in franchise history, just one win shy of moving into a tie for eighth
*       The Blueshirts’ plus-12 rating on special teams is tied for 16th in team history
*       Henrik Lundqvist’s 33 wins are tied for ninth in Rangers’ history, and two wins shy of moving into a tie for seventh

Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Mar. 27 after posting a 2-0-1 record, 0.32 GAA, .987 Sv% and two shutouts in three games. On Mar. 26, Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in a 1-0 victory at Boston to establish a new career-high with his league leading, 11th shutout of the season, while appearing in his 400th career game. His 11 shutouts are tied for second in team history for most shutouts in a season, and are the most by a Ranger since John Ross Roach posted 13 shutouts in 1928-29. Lundqvist also posted his 30th win of the season on Mar. 18 vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career, and extend his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. Lundqvist established a new career-high by appearing in his 22nd consecutive contest (dating back to Feb. 11) on Thursday at Long Island.

New York won its 40th game of the season with a 1-0 victory vs. Florida on Mar. 22. It is the fifth time in the last six years the Rangers posted 40 or more wins in a season, marking only the second time in franchise history the team accomplished the feat (1968-69 – 1973-74). The Blueshirts are one of five Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06 (Montreal, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh).

Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal rank first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, since returning from injury in early February. Callahan leads the team with 13 goals and 23 points in 26 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, following a 19-game hiatus due to a broken hand suffered on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh. Prospal leads the team with 12 assists and ranks second with 18 points in 25 games since he made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury.

The Rangers have posted five more wins and five more points compared to last season through 78 games (36-32-10, 82 points in 2009-10), having tallied 10 more goals (220 this season, 210 last season) while allowing 19 fewer goals against (188 this season, 207 last season).  New York has also shown a six-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (11 this season, five last season).

The Rangers lead the league in hits (2,201), are tied for fifth in goals against (188) and road wins (23), rank second in players with at least one game-winning goal (18), fourth in blocked shots (1,235), shorthanded goals (11) and shootout wins (eight), and fifth with a plus-32 goal differential.

*       Ryan Callahan has recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in the last 21 contests
*       Artem Anisimov has tallied 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last 12 games
*       Vinny Prospal has tallied 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in the last 17 contests

*       Henrik Lundqvist: 400th career NHL game (3/26 at BOS)

*       Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 48
*       Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 35
*       Chris Drury (knee, 2/4) – 24
*       Martin Biron (fractured collarbone, 2/28) – 14
Total Man-Games Lost: 310

*       Mar. 29 – Agreed to terms with free agent forward Tommy Grant
*       Apr. 1 – Assigned forward Mats Zuccarello to Connecticut (AHL)

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  1. Good game day morning, boneheads!

    Let’s hope they don’t KHL this week, for Miami’s sake!

  2. CraigWeather on

    Lets hope they don’t Carcillo the bed today and beat the Cooke out of these Byfuglien Filthadelphians.

  3. In the unlikely instance of the Rangers falling short against the Flyers, they can content themselves with knowing that their bitter rivals in New Jersey took a momentous belly flop when they went all that way for Kovalchuk.

    One might also wonder why they let Rafalski get away from them.

    One wonders at the size of his contract, whether a bit more of it could not have been directed to Rafalski, in order to keep him on the premises.

    I know that the lure of playing for an almost predetermined cup opportunity no doubt played a role in his defection, and perhaps there are underlying conditions that we are not aware of.
    Still it is something of a mystery.

  4. Fran, that was when Lou still believed that everybody should take home discount to stay in NJ. He wasn’t going to give Rafalski $6M per for 5 years. And Rafalski wouldn’t take anything less. Remember, he started his career in NHL at 27, so he wanted to make some money. Can’t blame him. Big mistake on Lou’s part. Well, you can add this one to a long list of mistakes hes’s made since.

  5. Hey gang! Can’t watch as I’m traveling back to the Loo from Boston today, but wanted to swing in to say: LGR! Let’s right the ship and get those two points!

  6. couldnt sleep well last night.

    my son was anxious and got up through out the night.


    it might take one to win in phil today

  7. A good game day to all! I won’t be watching live either as I’ll be in a luxury box at Yankee Stadium with my daughter, tickets courtesy of a client. First time at the stadium and I’m hoping they don’t post any hockey news. I’ll be watching the game ‘live’ when I get home. We need this win not only for the two points today but for our confidence tomorrow against the Bruins. A win today makes a victory tomorrow more likely and vice versa.

  8. Good morning, Carp! Definitely not watching the game tonight, they tend to do better that way. LETS GO RANGERS!

  9. 12:30 Flyers-Rangers
    12:30 Nadal-Djokovic
    12:30 (11:30 start) Vfl-Eintracht…

    Dam..Who can watch three games at the same time :)

  10. onecupin71yearsand counting on

    This game could get ugly early . especially if NY gets ahead early.. I hope NY runs the flyers goalie just to send a message..

  11. Why is Brooks perpetuating the myth that the points earned in the Game 82 shootout last year (Hi, Greg!) were somehow worth more than points earned in any other win or any other shootout during the year?

  12. Please, the rangers are done, period. Like I said many times, starting to sound like a broken record. This team wasn’t and isn’t making the playoff. I posted before the rangers played Buffalo that Carolina wasn’t going to lay down. It wouldn’t surprise me if the rangers lose out.

  13. Hank’s paid his dues
    Time after time
    He’s made some stick saves
    But not high glove sive
    And bad mistakes
    Hank’s made a few
    He’s had his share of snow plowed in his face
    But Hank’s come through

  14. This game has disaster written all over it but we need to get at least one point tonight.

    and please Tortorella, go with what has worked. Take Stepan off Gaborik’s line!!!!

  15. I had the peculiar experience of watching both the Mets and the Islanders simultaneously ( well sort of simultaneously)..skipping back and forth and it was really quite fun. To go from the frantic hell for leather of hockey to the slow pacing of baseball.

    I made for an interesting contrast.

  16. If the Flyers score early…especially if they jump to a 2-0 lead…I think the Rangers, unfortunately, will wilt and collapse.

    They refused to put forth the necessary effort over the past two weeks (Boston game notwithstanding), and all but laid down and died for the Islanders.

    They may come out with the intention to save their season, but they look far too wound up right about now. Torts looks ready to come unglued. And Hank looks exasperated as always with a team in front of him that can’t give him even average offensive support.

    I am hoping for a win, hoping for them to right the ship, hoping for them to show what we’ve seen throughout the year.

    But they DID lay down like dogs the last two games.

    So maybe the heart of this team isn’t nearly as strong as we thought it was.

    We’ll see…part of me doesn’t want to watch.

    I’m off to the gym…it’ll be better to watch the game if I’m too exhausted to scream.

  17. fran, I dont know what you think but my impression is always I have missed something especially if you watch three different kind of sports…..I am also interested in tactics and positional play so you always think you dont see it all….

    So I have to make a decision and in this case I probably go for the top stars :)
    nothing is disturbing me more than average play..truth to be told….

  18. Pronger for Zuccarello a wash! Brilliant Carp! Brilliant! Hobbit Wizard will be back.

  19. Here is our chance: This team tends to play better against better teams. They like to step up to the challenge whereas when they play the Islanders or Senators or any awful team that is putting forth an effort in the spoiler role they just give up. Today they better realize how good the Pucking Phlyers are and they better match their play and intensity and they better play *their style* of hockey and not get into some breakaway contest with the Phlyers.

    No ridiculous turnovers in the neutral zone. No silly passes to center ice of our own zone. And for God Sakes, please play the middle of the ice, crash the net and rip shots when you have an open lane.

  20. >>As I said yesterday, let’s see what they got.

    By now, we should already know the answer. The Rangers have lots of heart, jam, grind, and balls. Unfortunately, that is not enough when you need to win the big match.

  21. It also isn’t enough when you leave all those things in your locker room for what should be two consecutive “gimmie” games.

  22. I agree they play better against better teams..its based in the nature of things as a team like the Islanders has nothing to loose and everybody seeing them as the underdog and they can only win, whereas the Flyers are the favourites and need to make the game which will be to the advantage of the Rangers, where they can react instead of acting….

    wow what an analyse !

  23. I would really like to see a great game by Marian Gaborik !

    He is the only one who is capapble someting out of the ordinary ….I probably don´t want to say it but it was not his season..so…

  24. Well – we are playing for our lives and the Phlyers are playing for the right to cal top seed and play us in the playoffs…..We do have more at stake.

  25. Yeah Carp is always really polite to the ladies here, a serious Gentleman one of old school!!!!:)

    in 25 Minutes I am starting the coverage…..

    probably adding Roma-Juve at 2.45pm
    Buffalo-Carolina at 5pm busy night:)

  26. >>I would really like to see a great game by Marian Gaborik !

    I don’t care if he plays well; I’d just like to see him to score a winning goal for once. That would definitely shut his critics up [yeah, that would be me].

  27. Rhode Island Ranger on

    I may be overly optimistic today (the sun’s out here on Naragansett Bay), but I think a regulation loss tonight for either Buff or the Canes will be more damaging to them than a respectable Ranger defeat in Filthy.

    The standings say the NYR should lose today. They also suggest the Sabres and Canes are evenly matched. So, in the head-to-head matchup for the same playoff real estate at 5 PM, one of those two is going to suffer an undeniable blow to its confidence after giving everything its got.

    When it’s all done tonight, if the Rangers have gained a point or two on one of those teams, they can feel good about their chances. But even if NY gets nothing in Filthy, a reg loss for someone else will matter more.

    Reasonable or crazy spring fever?!

  28. eddie eddie eddie on

    RIR – reasonable….but i think rangers win today…too bad Buff vs Carolina couldnt produce 2 losers…manny is that possible?…in other words, when one team plays another, and ties are not an option, it would seem to this casual announcer that one must win and the other lose…OR one team loses and the other wins…

  29. eddie eddie eddie on

    imagine how the typical flyer fan is feeling right now….first, they wake up with a killer hangover after drinking 6 cases of flat beer, sit up and puke all over themselves, stand next to their bed and do #1 and #2, open up last week’s mail to see 100 notices from collection agencies, 3 warrents, and a letter from a bail bondsman….then it hits the answering machine to hear calls from 4 ex-wives demanding child support and alimony….but all of this makes the average flyer fan smile….then, it puts on a crusty bobby clarke vintage 1974 jersey….and heads for the neighbor’s trailer as cable was cut off years ago for non-payment…LETS GO RANGERS

  30. Rhode Island Ranger on

    The consensus around here seems to be to root for a Canes loss to keep them behind the Rangers. But given Buff’s more fragile state after squandering a crucial point in the last minute in DC, a reg loss in Carolina tonight could be more likely and more damaging to them psychologically. Smart money’s on Cam Ward and the other Cup winners in red.

    Rangers performance aside (one point would be great!), a pointless Buff loss would look pretty good. And hope our two rivals beat the stuffing out of each other!

  31. Eddie – it seems to me that the Rangers would have to actually be in Philadelphia to play this game. If they don’t play the game then they don’t have a chance at winning. So to recap – plant seeds. grow trees. turn trees to lumber. combine with plastic to make a stick. take stick to philadelphia. play the game (and i can’t stress this one enough). score more goals than the other team. win.

  32. Eddie- that was genius. I immediately sent it to my scumbag friend who is a Phlyers fan.

  33. Oh yea! Mama was gone when the Rangers lost! Mama this is YOUR fault! (just kidding) but please bring us some luck and warm sun.

  34. RIR- Buffalo’s last game is against CBJ. They are out of the POs and couldn’t care less what happens in the East. Having said that, any 2 point game will benefit the Rangers.

  35. Rhode Island Ranger on

    ilb: I hear you about Buff’s schedule. I don’t think the frustrated Jackets will lay down for the Sabres in their last home game in Columbus, though.

    As the Rangers have learned too many times, these eliminated teams at home play with pride. And they’re looser and feature younger motivated lineups. No gimme for a tight Buff side.

    Agree that a three point game will be poison unless the Rangers win today.

  36. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    I’m a nervous wreck and my stomach hurts. You can tell it’s getting down to the nitty gritty.

  37. We will win today. If you believe it, it will happen!

    Congrats on going to become an RN, CCCP. That’s really awesome.

  38. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    morning ILB, edzo, and all!!

    LGR and go canes, let’s keep those behind us behind us!!!

  39. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    Morning guys! Glad to see youse today! Gonna need all the ‘Heads to get through this game!!

    C3, congrats!!! That is awesome!!

  40. dunno ilb looks like he’s “injured”. hey im not complaining. we need these damn points. if they lose i cant imagine how this blog will look like. might stay away from it till late tonight or tomorrow.

  41. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    nice ILB, absolutely love that movie!!!

  42. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    I wonder if someone drops them early to set the tone??

  43. Here’s a bit of good news for you NNs: Sally told me she has decided the Rangers will make the playoffs.

    So you can stop worrying now.

  44. eddie eddie eddie on

    its 2-1 we lead fellas, keep them from scoring and the game is ours…believe it and it will happen….

  45. MickeyM is delayed in Boston on

    Delayed outta Beantown, so, anyone got a link?

    I can spend part of the game with you all

  46. Stepan has played well against the Philth this year. Kinda feeling a Feds goal as well.

  47. absolutely terrible decision to keep Stepan up with Gaborik. Clearly its not working…

  48. I missed it … why are we congratulating C3P?

    Mickey, you can definitely listen to the radio call via the Rangers web site.

  49. I just came across this stat:

    The Rangers are 1-0 in their NEXT game against Philthy.



  50. LinCalPrustBoylahan on


  51. eddie eddie eddie on

    well, i am one queasy eddie cubed…and i see why hank might want to hurl before this game…

  52. Eddie: (Repost for Eddie)

    Eddie – it seems to me that the Rangers would have to actually be in Philadelphia to play this game. If they don’t play the game then they don’t have a chance at winning. So to recap – plant seeds. grow trees. turn trees to lumber. combine with plastic to make a stick. take stick to philadelphia. play the game (and i can’t stress this one enough). score more goals than the other team. win.

  53. most likely the game will go to a SO and we’ll lose. and we’ll all be bitching that zucc wasnt in the lineup

  54. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – it does help for the rangers to be in filthy so that they can really come to play….you can throw out the records when these 2 old rivals get together…..by the way, how is crosby feeling?…i guess we will all find out in 9 minutes or so…

  55. “By now, we should already know the answer. The Rangers have lots of heart, jam, grind, and balls. Unfortunately, that is not enough when you need to win the big match.”

    JBytes – This isn’t a bloody cricket match. It’s a hockey game!

  56. Carp, its not going to work if you are not from the US..But I found a stream fron ESPN america, so we can watch it there….

    goosh my first game is such a stinker :) soccer can be so boring, if everything happens in midfield :) a new coach not always helps :)

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