Get your game notes: Rangers at Flyers

28 Comments

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the New York Rangers starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Philadelphia’s win Sunday snapped a nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden. The Flyers now return to Wells Fargo Center, where they took both games from the Rangers this season and four of their last five dating back to last season. New York last won in Philadelphia March 26, 2013, a 5-2 victory.

— Of the 33 times the Flyers have been tied at 1 in a series, they have won 17 of those series, and lost 16. Game 2 has often been a good indicator of Philadelphia success in the playoffs: when the Flyers win Game 2, they have gone on to win the series 30 of the 37 times, regardless of the Game 1 result. The Rangers have won eight of the last 12 playoff series in which they split the first two games, including five of the last seven playoff series in which they split the first two games at home.

— The Rangers started this season playing their first nine games on the road due to Madison Square Garden‟s renovation project, getting off to a 3-6-0 start. But in their final 32 road contests, the Rangers posted a 22-8-2 record to finish 25-14-2 on the road this season, setting a franchise record for road wins in a season. New York was one of three teams to record at least 25 road wins this season (Colorado, Anaheim) and had the most road wins in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers’ 52 road points this season rank second in franchise history (2011-12 – 53).

— The Flyers overcame an early 2-0 deficit in the first period to win Sunday and are one of six teams this postseason to come back and win after trailing by two goals. During the regular season, the Flyers came back to win after trailing by two goals on eight occasions. It was also the sixth time in the last seven playoff years that the Flyers won a game in such a fashion, tying them with the Bruins for the most over that span. All six of Philadelphia’s two-or-more-goal comeback wins in the playoffs since 2008 have come on the road and prior to Sunday‟s win, the club‟s last playoff victory when trailing by two goals was April 13, 2012 when they overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to win 8-5 against Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

— Flyers goaltender Ray Emery, who has been filling in for Steve Mason (upper body injury) and who
will start Game 3, started in back-to-back games for the first time this season, earning his 21st career playoff victory and his first in exactly three years since helping Anaheim defeat Nashville April 20, 2011 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, 6-3. After allowing two goals within the first 10 minutes Sunday, Emery did not allow another goal. Mason said Monday, “The way [Emery’s] playing, there’s no hurry. He’s the reason we won yesterday, so, even if I was ready, there’s no reason to take him out right now.”

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis opened the game’s scoring in the first period, netting his first playoff goal for the Rangers after tallying 33 during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His 34 career playoff goals ranks 13th among all active NHL players. St. Louis has 7 points in his last 4 games dating back to the regular season.

Sharks send Habs to their fifth straight loss

1 Comment

Make that five straight losses for the Montreal Canadiens.

Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist on Shea Weber‘s power play blast, giving the Habs center a two-point night. That’s one of the few bright spots, as Montreal lost by a score of 5-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

This was a battle of two teams struggling to start the new season, with each sitting on only one victory. For the Habs, that victory was back on Oct. 5 in their season opener against Buffalo.

Since then, however . . .

And it isn’t about to get any easier for the Habs. This was the start of a stretch that includes three games in four nights against the bruising California teams — the Sharks tonight, the Kings tomorrow, and the Ducks on Friday. It could still get worse before it gets better.

For the Sharks, who were led Tuesday by Logan Couture‘s four-point performance and Joe Pavelski‘s first goal of the season, they end their five-game home stand on a positive note after losing three of the previous four games.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Wayne Simmonds leaves Flyers game for ‘precautionary reasons’ with lower-body issue

Getty
Leave a comment

The Philadelphia Flyers earned a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, thanks to a four-goal outburst in the second period.

And Philly forward Wayne Simmonds earned a decision over Micheal Haley in a quick fight during that middle frame, too.

While the Flyers got the win, the news wasn’t all good with respect to Simmonds, however, as he was removed from the game for precautionary reasons because of a lower-body issue, the team announced.

Beyond that, the Flyers said they will know more about his status by either tomorrow or Thursday. That puts a bit of a damper on the win.

Not only is the 29-year-old Simmonds one of the toughest players in the league, unafraid to drop the gloves or throw big hits from time to time, but he’s an important part of Philadelphia’s offensive attack, as well. A productive member of the power play, he’s flirted with the 30-goal mark on three occasions while in Philly and reached that mark in each of the past two seasons.

And he’s done that on a contract that includes an annual cap hit of just under $4 million.

Simmonds was also off to a strong start in 2017-18 with five goals and seven points in six games.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Rangers’ losing streak continues with OT defeat vs. Penguins

Getty
2 Comments

The New York Rangers needed a win.

Their slow start is among the surprises early this season, as the Rangers have now lost four in a row with only one win to their record through seven games so far. They’ve had trouble scoring. Mistakes at inopportune moments have been costly.

Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, the Rangers had a brutal start and a brutal finish in a 5-4 overtime loss to their Metropolitan Division foes.

Phil Kessel scored just 43 seconds into the game, utilizing that dangerous wrist shot off the rush to beat Henrik Lundqvist top corner. By the end of one period, it was 2-0 Pittsburgh.

Despite a second-period comeback, with three goals in under three minutes, and taking the lead in the third period, the Rangers couldn’t hang on and the Penguins won in overtime.

Sidney Crosby scored a crafty tying goal with only 56 seconds remaining in regulation, waiting for the Rangers defender to touch the puck negating what would’ve likely been called a hand pass on Pittsburgh before firing a no-look backhander toward the net from behind the red line. The puck deflected in off Lundqvist, helping send this one to overtime.

Evgeni Malkin capped off a four-point night with the overtime winner.

“Right now it’s a little bit challenging as far as putting a whole game together for us,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault following the game. “But this group is very accountable … and I’m very confident that if we keep doing a lot of the things we’re doing right now, we’re going to be on the right track.”

A trio of Rangers recorded their first goals of the season. That included David Desharnais, Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich, although the latter played less than 10 minutes on Tuesday, despite nearly four minutes in power play time, and of course the goal.

The Rangers host the New York Islanders on Thursday. Another loss, and one has to wonder how hot the seat may be getting under Vigneault.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Kucherov joins elite company with hot start, but Devils defeat Bolts

Leave a comment

The Nikita Kucherov Show continues.

The Tampa Bay Lightning star forward maintained his torrid pace Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, scoring his eighth goal of the season — in just his seventh game.

The Bolts took the lead in the second period on goals from Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but couldn’t hang on and ultimately lost to the Devils (how about this start for New Jersey?) by a score of 5-4 in the shootout.

There is no denying, however, that this has been a special start for the 24-year-old Kucherov and he has joined elite company as a result.

That’s a perfect shot on Cory Schneider.

Read more: Kucherov’s star continues to rise

Kucherov also added an assist on Vladislav Namestnikov‘s beautiful first-period goal. The Devils, though, completed the comeback to continue their strong start to the season, both in wins and goals for. They entered Tuesday’s contest among the league leaders in scoring and surged out to an early lead following a wild five-goal first period.

Drew Stafford opened the scoring for New Jersey and then tied it late in the third period. Kyle Palmieri scored the winner in the shootout.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS: