Brayden Schenn, Ryan McDonagh

Get your game notes: Rangers at Flyers


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.

The Panthers are healthy scratching Bolland, and he is their highest-paid forward, but they insist they’re not sending a message

Dave Bolland, Derek Nansen
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It feels like there’s a story brewing in Florida, where Dave Bolland — the team’s most-expensive forward, at $5.5 million a season — has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games.

But according to head coach Gerard Gallant, there’s nothing to see here. Move along.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Gallant said, per the Miami Herald. “He sat out, our team is playing well. There’s nothing more than that. We have to sit two guys and I like the way we’re playing. The next game is a different game. We may change something up, who knows.”

Bolland had just one goal and five points in 18 games prior to getting parked in the press box. Well, technically he got dropped to the fourth line before hitting the press box, but you get the idea. He’s not exactly in Gallant’s good graces.

Not helping Bolland’s case is the fact that, as Gallant pointed out, the club is playing pretty well without him. The Panthers have rebounded from a rough start to November by winning back-to-back games against the Islanders and Red Wings, which set them up nicely for the remainder of this current five-game road swing.

Florida has games still to play in St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus and New Jersey. It’ll be interesting to see when — or, if — he draws back into the lineup.

In closing, a reminder that Bolland’s in the second of a five-year, $27.5 million deal.

Canucks rookie Virtanen exits with upper-body injury, won’t return


After sitting out Friday’s game in Dallas, Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen had to be excited at drawing back in for tonight’s game against the Ducks.

Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long.

Virtanen suffered an upper-body injury after playing just 1:45 in the opening frame, and was ruled out of the contest during the intermission. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but it looks like Virtanen was injured on a hit by Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Virtanen didn’t take another shift following the incident, and Getzlaf was given a minor penalty on the play.

While we don’t know what the injury is or it’s severity, losing Virtanen for any length of time would have ramifications for the Canucks and this year’s Canadian entry at the World Juniors. There has been talk of Virtanen possibly being released by the Canucks to participate in the tournament; last year, he was part of the team that captured gold in Montreal and Toronto.

Virtanen has played in 18 games for the Canucks this year, scoring one goal and four points while averaging 10:17 TOI per night.

McLellan sounds off on Oilers after shutout loss in Toronto

Todd McLellan

Edmonton lost for the fourth time in five games on Monday, a 3-0 defeat in Toronto that marked the second time in a week the Oilers have been shut out.

Needless to say, the head coach wasn’t happy.

In a fairly blunt and harsh assessment aimed at a variety of players, Todd McLellan had some choice words for what he called a “disappointing” effort.

Some of the more choice quotes:

“I didn’t think we were a very hard team. I didn’t think we stood over a lot of pucks. I didn’t think we won a lot of battles along the boards. I didn’t think we were competitive enough in a lot of areas.”

“When I look at the trip as a whole, we had some key, key people really under-perform on the trip. Significant minus numbers, not hitting the score sheet. It can’t always be the [Leon DraisaitlTaylor Hall line] that provides that.”

It’s fair to suggest that last one was directed at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.

Nugent-Hopkins has just two points and zero goals in his last five games, with a minus-8 rating. Eberle is pointless entirely, and also at minus-8 over the same stretch.

They’re hardly the only Oilers not pulling their weight at the moment, however. Edmonton has lost 15 times in its first 25 games, a figure that suggests there are more problems that just a couple of underachieving forwards.

Just ask McLellan, who all but admitted his team has issues matching up.

“We’re not where we need to be,” he said. “We’ve got work to do as a team, work to do as an organization to get bigger, stronger, harder, and physically win more battles than we lose.”

Roy: Avs ‘need, expect more’ from Varlamov


The tough times continue for Semyon Varlamov.

After another unsuccessful outing on Monday — allowing four goals on 27 shots in a loss to the Islanders — Varlamov was subjected to a familiar refrain: Patrick Roy saying the Avs need more from their No. 1 netminder.


You can hear all of the head coach’s comments in the video above but, for brevity’s sake, here’s the Varlamov stuff:

“It’s not easy for him. Obviously we need that extra save and we didn’t get it on the road. It’s hard to win if you’re giving four goals on the road.

“We just need more from him. He’s our No. 1 guy and we’re behind him, but we need, we expect more from him.”

There has to be serious concern about Varlamov right now, if there wasn’t already.

His save percentage through seven games in November (.891) is marginally better than it was through seven games in October (.889), and that’s not the only alarming stat. Varlamov’s yet to record a shutout this year, yet to record back-to-back victories and has given up at least three goals in six of his last seven starts.

Not good.

Compounding things for Colorado are the standings. The Avs are now 9-14-1 and mired in the Central Division basement, meaning that — if they have any hope of going on a tear and getting back into playoff content — they’ll need to do it soon.

Which means they might not have the time, or the patience, for Varlamov to find his game.