Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers - Game Five

PHT Morning Skate: Rangers seek to eliminate Flyers in Game 6


Thanks to other series wrapping up already, there’s just one game on Tuesday night. The New York Rangers head to Wells Fargo Center looking to finish off the Philadelphia Flyers.

Should the Flyers win and force a Game 7 back in Manhattan, they’ll have to hurry back to make it happen as it’ll be Wednesday night. Just keep that in mind in case we run into a multiple overtime situation tonight.

Game 6: Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers [New York leads series 3-2] (7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Rangers looked every bit the higher-seeded team in Game 5. Not only did they get great work from Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis again, but they saw guys like Dominic Moore and Marc Staal get on the board to establish the lead. It might sound obvious, but one thing the Flyers have to make sure to do is score first, or at the very least, not get down 3-0 before starting to find the offense.

If there’s something for the Flyers to be excited about after Game 5, however, it’s that Claude Giroux got off the schneid and scored his first goal of the series. Giroux has needed to be more of a factor against the Rangers and now that he’s found the back of the net, and the Flyers have last change in Game 6, perhaps he’s due to help fulfill his own Mark Messier-like prophecy.

One cause for concern for Philly? Henrik Lundqvist. The King has been strong in this series with a .926 save percentage and in a playoffs where goals have been coming on the regular, that’s an outstanding mark. The Flyers have to try and make him uncomfortable in net for once.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?