Get your game notes: Flyers at Rangers

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Tonight on CNBC, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Philadelphia Flyers starting at 7 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Flyers and Rangers face off tonight in their first playoff meeting since the 1997 Eastern Conference Final, which Philadelphia won in five games before being swept by Detroit for the Stanley Cup. The Flyers hold a 27-20 edge in games and 6-4 lead in series; the Rangers’ last series victory over Philadelphia came in the 1986 Patrick Division semifinals (they are 0-3 since).

• This series features two teams that qualified for the playoffs after dreadful starts to the season. The Flyers went through an in-season coaching change, installing Craig Berube to replace Peter Laviolette after the team lost its first three games of the season. The Rangers, in their first year under coach Alain Vigneault, played their season’s first nine games on the road while Madison Square Garden completed a three-year renovation project.

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• Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension in December, experienced a rough first half of the 2013-14 season (through Jan. 6), but picked it up substantially in the second half (Jan. 8 until the end of the season).

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• Lundqvist, who surpassed Mike Richter as the Rangers’ all-time leader in regular-season wins on Mar. 18, has not yet matched the career postseason prowess of Richter, who backstopped the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup.

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• Flyers captain Claude Giroux went the first 15 games this season without scoring a goal (he had seven assists during that span). Giroux then scored 28 goals in his next 67 games and finished with 86 points (28-58=86), third in the league. In four postseasons with the Flyers, Giroux has 55 points (21-34=55), 11th on the franchise’s all-time list; three more points and he’ll pass Eric Lindros (24-33=57) for 10th.

• Rangers winger Rick Nash has led his team in goals in each of his two seasons in New York, since arriving in a trade from Columbus on July 23, 2012. Of Nash’s team-leading 21 goals in 44 games in 2012-13, 13 were scored in the third period; in 2013-14, Nash scored only seven of his 26 goals (65 games) in the third.

• Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds set career highs this season with 29 goals and 60 points. Since arriving in Philadelphia with Brayden Schenn in the June 23, 2011 trade that sent Mike Richards (then the Flyers’ captain) to Los Angeles, Simmonds has scored a team-best 72 goals for the Flyers – 32 of them on the power play.

Crosby: Penguins ‘probably deserved better’ vs. Senators in Game 6

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If you didn’t know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be awfully cruel, then the last week or so of action should make it pretty clear.

The Nashville Predators lost top center Ryan Johansen to a scary ailment few would have seen coming. The Anaheim Ducks fell in both games to the Johansen-less Predators, even after dominating significant chunks of Game 6. At least one Ducks player wondered if the better team won.

Much like in life, “fair” and “deserve” only matter so much. Sports have a scoreboard to serve as the ultimate deciding factor.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have similar thoughts after falling 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators tonight, extending the Eastern Conference Final to a decisive Game 7. You can nitpick questionable penalties and missed chances, but really, how negative can you be after Craig Anderson puts forth a blazing 45-save performance (with no overtime)?

Mike Sullivan and others echoed such thoughts.

” … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I don’t think we can get discouraged by that,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got to take the positives from it, and we’ve got to build on it, and we’ve got to become a more determined team for Game 7.

That’s not the sort of take that’s going to make the Senators angry in Game 7. The tone of the Senators’ discussions was likely very different after they lost Game 5 by a 7-0 score, yet maybe there was similar self belief.

Anderson puzzles Penguins as Senators force Game 7

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Who could blame fans for chanting “Andy” tonight?

The Ottawa Senators said they would choose to fight in Game 6, and Craig Anderson truly battled in this one, refusing to allow this unlikely run to an end on Tuesday. They wouldn’t roll over, even after a 7-0 humiliation in Game 5.

The underrated goalie continued his memorable (and emotional) 2016-17 season with a brilliant performance, making 45 saves to help Ottawa manage a gutsy 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that, hockey fans get a true treat: the Eastern Conference will go to a Game 7 on Thursday.

The Senators opted for a “bend but don’t break” strategy for much of the contest, possibly to Guy Boucher’s preference. Even so, the Penguins managed to grind their way to a 1-0 win thanks to another hard-work goal from Evgeni Malkin.

Mistakes would come back to haunt the Penguins, however, as Bobby Ryan broke Ottawa’s lengthy power-play drought to tie things up on a 5-on-3.

With their season in question thanks to a 1-1 tie in the third period, Mike Hoffman sent a booming shot by Matt Murray, and that ended up being all the Senators needed to tie the series 3-3.

Anderson was the standout, but Erik Karlsson was a hero in the way his detractors might not expect.

You can watch Game 7 on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports App.

Report: Avalanche get permission to speak with Leafs assistant GM Dubas

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Could one of the most hapless possession teams of this more analytics-leaning era nab arguably the most promising analytics-leaning executive in the NHL?

It’s a reasonable question, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Colorado Avalanche asked for and received permission to speak to Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas.

Current GM Joe Sakic recently got a vote of confidence and also cleaned out some of the coaching staff around Jared Bednar, so this is certainly a time of change for the Avalanche.

It will be interesting to see what kind of role Dubas would receive if he did join the fold in Colorado. Would he still be considered an assistant GM, only with more sway with what would likely be a smaller group of decision-makers? Could we see Sakic move up and give Dubas the full GM title (or eventually transition that role to the young upstart)? Might there be some other factor that would qualify as a more “outside the box” idea?

One thing seems clear: the Avalanche might want to be decisive, as demand could be significant for Dubas if he’s even somewhat on the market.

This could be interesting, especially if you’re a nerd for team-building storylines.

Video: Senators score twice to take 2-1 lead in Game 6

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The Ottawa Senators have defied odds during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they’ve done so with what’s often been an ice-cold power play.

They finally struck gold on the man advantage on Tuesday, and at a key moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins were dominating much of the game and pressing for an even bigger edge after Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0.

Maybe the Penguins got overzealous, or maybe officials … finally started making some calls. Either way, the Senators ended up with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute-and-a-half. With that opportunity, Bobby Ryan scored a huge goal for Ottawa on a shot that was both oddly and perfectly placed.

Moments later, Kyle Turris narrowly missed a golden opportunity, so the contest remained tied 1-1.

Despite a late push by the Penguins to finish the second, Game 6 will enter the third period with a 1-1 score.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6

Update: Mike Hoffman‘s booming shot gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the third. We’ll see if Pittsburgh can tie it up.