Winter Classic: Rangers at Flyers today (note time change)

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NEW YORK RANGERS at PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
Monday, Jan. 2, 3:00 p.m.
Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rangers: 23-9-4 (50 pts)
Flyers: 22-10-4 (48 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Jan. 1

TODAY’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (3:00 p.m.; TV: NBC; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio). The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 23-9-4 (50 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Florida Panthers, 4-1, on Friday at BankAtlantic Center, and have won six of their last seven games. New York has posted a record of 20-6-2 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Flyers enter the contest with a 22-10-4 (48 pts) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost four of their last six games (2-3-1). This will be the second meeting in 10 days between the Atlantic Division rivals, with New York having defeated Philadelphia, 4-2, on Dec. 23 at MSG to take a 2-0-0 series lead. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back set.

RANGERS vs. FLYERS:
* All-Time: 112-107-37-7 overall (59-47-23-4 at home; 53-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the third of six meetings this season, and the first of three on the road. New York (2-0-0) has out-scored Philadephia, 6-2, in the series, and are 2-6 (33.3%) on the power play in two games. Six different Rangers have tallied a goal against the Flyers this season, while Michael Del Zotto leads the team in scoring with three assists. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA, .966 Sv% and one shutout in the season series.
* Last Season: New York was 2-4-0 overall, with a 1-2-0 mark on the road. The Rangers power play was 4-19 (21.1%) in the season series. Ryan Callahan (four goals, one assist) and Derek Stepan (three goals, two assists) tied for the team-high with five points, while Callahan’s four goals led the team. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-3-0 with a 2.57 GAA, .908 Sv% and one shutout in five games.
* The Rangers enter the contest with a four-game winning streak against the Flyers, having out-scored Philadelphia, 16-4, over the span
* New York ranks third with a 12-6-2 (26 pts) record on the road; Philadelphia ranks 26th with an 8-5-2 (18 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 7-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Flyers are 4-2-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 18-10-3 record with a 2.64 GAA and four shutouts in 33 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia; Martin Biron is 9-7-2-0 with a 2.18 GAA in 18 career regular season games vs. the Flyers
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 23 assists and 31 points in 33 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia; Ruslan Fedotenko has tallied a team-high, 15 goals in 39 career regular seaosn games vs. the Flyers
* Dan Girardi has tallied more assists/points (19 assists) against the Flyers than any other team during his career
* New York lists three former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09), Steve Eminger (2008-09), Ruslan Fedotenko (2000-01 – 2001-02)
* Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005-06 – 2008-09), Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 – 2007-08), Ian Laperriere (1995-96), Jody Shelley (2009-10)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Rangers are tied for sixth in the NHL with a plus-five rating on special teams [(PPG+SHG)-(PPGA+SHGA)].  New York is 12-64 (18.8%) with the man advantage in the last 18 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in each of their last three games (9-9, 100.0%), and are 34-38 (89.5%) with four shorthanded goals in the last 12 contests. The Rangers are tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 14-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 15-4-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (2:00) on Friday at Florida. New York is tied for 20th overall (21-138, 15.2%) and 28th on the road (7-68, 10.3%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Panthers scoreless in four shorthanded situations (6:08) on Friday at Florida. New York ranks sixth overall (111-129, 86.0%) and eighth on the road (64-75, 85.3%). The Rangers are 5-6 (3:26) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Friday at Florida. The Rangers are plus-three in 36 four-on-four situations (63:36), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

OUTDOORSMEN
Two current Rangers have previous experience playing outdoors – Erik Christensen skated in the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008 with Pittsburgh, and Mike Rupp appeared in last season’s Winter Classic, also with Pittsburgh. The road team is 3-0-1 all-time in the NHL Winter Classic.

Today’s contest will mark the second time in franchise history the Blueshirts competed in an outdoor game. On September 27, 1991, the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings played in the first outdoor game between two NHL teams. The pre-season match-up took place in the parking lot of Caesars’ Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, in front of approximately 14,000 fans. The Kings defeated the Rangers, 5-2.

WORLD JUNIOR UPDATE
Rangers’ prospects J.T. Miller (USA) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) are currently competing at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship in Alberta, Canada.
* Miller is tied for fifth on USA in scoring with three points (one goal, two assists), first with a plus-three rating and fifth with 11 shots on goal. Team USA finished fourth in Group B with a 1-0-0-3 record, and is set to face-off against Latvia in a relegation round match-up on Jan. 3.
* Ceresnak has registered two shots on goal in four contests with Slovakia, who advanced to the playoff round after finishing third in Group A with a 2-0-0-2 record. Slovakia will face-off against Finland in a Quarterfinal match-up on Jan. 2.

MEASURING UP
The Rangers rank among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including…
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (nine)
* 2nd in win% (.694)
* 5th in wins (23)
* T-3rd in regulation/overtime wins (22)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (74)
* 2nd in GAA (2.06)
* 4th in hits (960)
* 3rd in +/- rating (plus-29)
* 4th in goal differential (plus-30)

QUICK HITS:

* The last time the Rangers sat atop the Eastern Conference standings this late into the season was Mar. 15, 1996 (game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* The Blueshirts’ 11-3-2 (24 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 16 games since 1995-96 (12-2-2, 26 pts)
* New York is 7-1-1 when leading after the first period and 15-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Rangers are tied for sixth in the NHL with a .222 win% when trailing after two periods (2-6-1)
* New York leads the NHL with an .786 win% when out-shooting their opponent (11-3-0)
* The Rangers rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting an 18-1-1 mark (.900 win%) in those contests, and their 18 wins are tied for second in the league

INDIVIDUAL NOTES:
* Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a four-game winning streak, posting a 1.00 GAA, .967 Sv% and one shutout over the span
* Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 18 games this season, and is 14-4-1 with a 1.73 GAA, .942 Sv% and two shutouts over the last two months (19 games)
* Lundqvist ranks third in the NHL in GAA (1.91), fourth in Sv% (.937) and is tied for fifth in shutouts (three)
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of his nine starts this season
* Marian Gaborik has tallied eight points (seven goals, one assist) and a plus-eight rating in the last seven games
* Gaborik ranks second in the NHL with 22 goals
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in the last 17 games, including six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five contests
* Del Zotto leads all NHL defensemen and ranks second in the league overall with a plus-25 rating
* Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists over the span), and has recorded 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in the last 18 games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in the last three games, and four goals in the last six contests
* Brandon Dubinsky has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
* Stu Bickel has tallied four assists in six games since being recalled on Dec. 18
* Anton Stralman has tallied four assists in the last five games, has posted a plus-nine rating in the last six and has logged 20:00+ of ice time in five of the last eight contests

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Brandon Dubinsky: 3 points from 200th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 3 assists from 100th NHL career

INJURIES:
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 36
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 25
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 12
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 115

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* Dec. 28 – Assigned defenseman Tim Erixon to Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 31 – Assigned forward Sean Avery to Connecticut (AHL)

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82 Comments

  1. Boom Boom Bathgate - FOUR CUPS since 1926 on

    So often a game which grades “close” on paper becomes a blow-out. Rangers show slight edge both at E.S. and combining special teams. Home game for Philly negates that edge. No clear favorite, here.

    Good luck, Men of Broadway. Send a zinger message to “Mr. Comcast” and company.

  2. Am I missing something or is there no story on this blog about Time Warner no longer having MSG?

  3. Staal Wart and the Overachievers on

    Happy game day Heads!
    Lloyd its been commented about constantly

  4. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    It just occurred to me that it is better for the Rangers that this game is in Philly, than at Yanquis Stadium, or Wolman Rink, or at Pier 88 on the Hudson, or someplace. Because the venue is “foreign” for both clubs. The Flyers are no more familiar with the surroundings or the ice surface than are the Rangers.

    So that if the Rangers can jump out to a lead and take the crowd out of the equation, this will be, in effect, a neutral ice game, not a home game for Philly. The difference between playing a road game and playing a game on neutral ice is significant. Starting to really like the Rangers chances for bringing home the scrapple, from this one.

  5. Thanks True Blue, I realize it will be on NBC but I am actually looking for it online so I can watch at work.

  6. Rod: I think you and I agree on Hemsky – he interests me if the price is right. I think that the Oilers will be looking for help on the backline, but no way do I do Erixon straight up for Hemsky, even if Hemsky signed a new deal as part of the trade.

    Anyways, fun to speculate…

  7. BTW, is it me or is only the first show of the 7/24 series available?

    I can’t find show 2 (or 3)…

  8. All depends Jim, mostly on teams falling out of the race or not.
    EDM is 10pts back so they should be about ready.

    There will be so much activity with so many teams, you have to see if you can do better, too.

    And I don’ think they’d move Erixon for a rental, that’s too much.

    You might be looking at something like Parlett & a pick.

  9. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    ilb, why do you say ‘should’ be a good game? this is winter classic…it is a good game. Pardon my french, but is duckbill missing something in translation here? Apologies beforehands.

    orr, why must win?

    Rod, 10 pts out still not time for EDM panic or do you think they have their nugents in a bunch.

    duckbill watching on Cablevision and NBS these Rangers games. What is Time-Life Warner bros? Cartoon channel? Duckbill feels lost in this county sometimes. BUt i trying to understand the suttle-tees.

  10. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    I do enjoy the play of Don Bickels…that kid has a chipped shoulder as they may say.

  11. anyone else see that clown from Florida, Barch, get tossed for using a racial slur……we might not be seeing him thursday night after all.

  12. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    The mrs said she saw on the NHLN ticker last night that staal was not going to play, a smoke screen perhaps??

    Boom Boom
    are you going to be ok or are you still insulted about mythology? poor little buddy

  13. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    And btw way boom boom, you seem like one of those guys that character just doesn’t matter and it is too bad, but if you want to continue to be a piece of shyte, that is fine!

  14. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    staal
    I think there is a NCAA hockey game on this evening

  15. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    latona
    that’s right, the NCAA game is next week…Thanks!!

  16. Barry Melrose also now reporting Staal IS PLAYING.

    Personally, even if he is ready, I would not play Staal today either. Not so much because of his health but more because he hasn’t played any hard ice time in quite some time. I think it is too much to ask of any player. Coming back from a long term injury and playing under these unique circumstances, in a very intense, division rivalry game is too much in my opinion. I say let him get his feet wet under more normal circumstances and allow him to come back gradually, rather then baptism by fire. It’s not as if our current D has been detrimental to us. However, it is hard to not get excited about the thought of him returning to the lineup.

  17. Wow, I hope he is ready….Does that mean McD isn’t well enough to play?

    Wicky, am I missing something in terms of Boom Boom?

  18. I thought the same about McD but everything I have been able to find is that he is fine. So they may both be playing.

  19. NHL Network ticker reporting the current temp is 41 degrees and will continue to fall as the sun goes down…….thanks for the update guys, dynamite reporting there.

  20. Yes, Staal, as of last night he wasn’t playing…I’m sure is pushing for it, but I doubt Ramsey would let him play if the doctors didn’t feel it was safe. The other question is his game shape…That’s totally up to him..

  21. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    ILB
    feel free to read the end of the last thread, I object to the song the flyers use instead of the National Anthem and he went all d bag on me. So much for voicing an opinion.

    And I also wonder if mcdonut is playing or woywitka—> is out?

    I really hope this isn’t to early for him!

  22. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    And for some important news, SA will dress for the whale today!

  23. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    guys please use more thought..he is not going to play 25 minutes and his regular shift as he normally would…if he does play i would say around 8-10 minutes if even that….i do not think the rangers would allow him back if not 100%…the rangers would be the last team in the league that would do something that stupid…this isnt some dumb canadian team where the team doctor works a farm and a mill.

  24. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    wicky, is ILB acting as your arbitrator…be nice to BOOM BOOM…can we have nice time for new year? isn’t nice right? I am nice. you be nice too.

  25. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    wicketty, you also wrote ‘to’ instead of ‘too’…that does get a bit aggravating.. i write in secondary tongue and even I know the intensifyingers adverbs…geez louis.

  26. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    did anyone see patti labelle (spelling) interview? Reminded me of little richard in mystery alaska freezing!!LMAO!

  27. Wicky doesn’t need an arbitrator, he can handle himself…But that was less than smart statement by Boom Boom comparing someone he doesn’t know to Rev Wright and whatever he preaches…Just because of Wicky’s opinion. I hope Boom Boom was able to swallow and comprehend “5 years of active duty at war”….I’ll leave it at that.

  28. You might be right, but if/when Staal returns to the line-up, I have a hard time believing Torts would be able to limit him to 8 minutes. This is a coach that runs his trusted d-men ragged. And now he has his all-star, shutdown defenseman back. After hearing his thoughts on players and injuries on 24/7, I think his mindset will be if he’s back, he’s going to play. I hope I’m wrong but I’d personally be shocked if Staal is limited to 8 minutes, whenever he does comeback.

  29. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    Duck bill
    in all honesty here, if you go read the last thread he went all bongos, not me and sorry didn’t realize you were the grammar police

    ILB
    isn’t being anyone’s arbitrator to my knowledge, I’m pretty easy to get along with and I’m sure he was wondering why I was a bit annoyed.

  30. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    it should read “ILB” on the same line as the rest of the statement (sorry again about the typo/bad grammar)

  31. Flyers, Flyers, Flyers, Flyers, blah, blah, blah …

    Tortorella speaking to media shortly. will have update on Staal rumors in twitter widget first ——>

  32. Wicky,
    Thanks for your service. While I don’t necessary agree with you about God Bless America being “religious” crap, I do agree with you that the actual National Anthem would be better.

    We have grammer police here?
    is it ok that I always do this…


  33. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    BESTIES

    CTWhale CTWhale
    Avery is centering Aaron Voros and Ryan Bourque

  34. Am I in the wrong place? This is the comments section of a hockey blog right? Shouldn’t this be one of the last places you have to worry about grammar, spelling etc.

  35. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    staal
    fair enough. and is that where kaspar went? Locked up in some deep dark place by the grammar police?

  36. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    staal
    you are welcome, but no thanks necessary, just doing my job!

  37. Playing on the 3rd pair. Lets see if Torts can control himself and actually limit him to 3rd pair minutes.

  38. Yeah, Barry Melrose disagrees with Torts about Staal. Maybe that’s why his last coaching stint lasted 14 games?

  39. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    staal
    no offence to carp and his $1.25 per, but stop posting and get ready for the game!!

  40. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Staal is in? For what a couple games, like Crosby? I thought he just started contact drills last week? And against the Flyers, a.k.a. The Mashers, of all people? Not good for its negative implications. Not good at all. He can’t be ready to help and he could get hurt.

    One other point, although Staal picks up interest in this game, 10-fold. Apart from Staal, this game has the potential to be a real pothole event, simply because it’s on network TV. That means more and longer commercial time-outs, so there will be little or no flow to the game. It also means the zebras, getting their 15 minutes of spotlight time on national TV, figure to be whistle-tooting from start to finish. I bet long before this one is over I am not alone in wanting to this this league revert to ONE zebra, in lieu of the present policy of having two morons competing with eachother for face time on TV.

    If Staal were not in the game, it would represent a golden opportunity to just park in the corner and read a good book. I figure a good book beats a good hockey game, anyway, and vs. a crummy hockey game it’s no contest.

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