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NHL on NBCSN: Rangers try to put a stop to Flyers’ winning streak

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The second game on the NBC networks on Sunday will take place in New York when the Rangers play host to the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can also catch all of the action on our live stream.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season with the Rangers winning two of the previous three.

At this point New York already seems locked into its playoff position as the first wild card team as they sit eight points ahead of Boston (and seven ahead of Ottawa and Toronto if one of them should happen to fall into that spot) but are also seven points back of Pittsburgh for third in the Metropolitan. It would be almost impossible for them to move up or down at this point. And that might not necessarily be a bad thing. While a first-round matchup against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens isn’t going to be a cakewalk, their Eastern Conference path would avoid the chaos that is the Metropolitan Division bracket for at least the first two rounds. It’s certainly not the worst spot to be in.

The biggest thing the Rangers are playing for at this point is simply piecing together some wins before the playoffs because nobody really wants to start the postseason on a slump. And right now the Rangers are in a bit of a slump. Having dropped three in a row after losing to the Penguins in a shootout on Friday, the Rangers have won just six of their past 17 games (6-7-4) and only three of their past 11. The big issue during that stretch has been goal prevention as Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t quite returned to form since coming back from his lower body injury, while Antti Raanta, a solid backup all season, has allowed at least three goals in five of his past eight starts.

The Flyers, meanwhile, enter the game having won four in a row thanks to their 3-0 shutout win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

It is almost certainly a case of too little, too late when it comes to a playoff spot (even with this streak they are still six points back with only four games to play; it would take a miracle for them to get in).

Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz was forced into action on Saturday night when starter Michal Neuvirth had to be taken to a hospital after he collapsed on the ice during the first period. Stolarz stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way to help secure the shutout.

Along with the four-game streak, the Flyers have won six of their past eight games down the stretch.

WATCH LIVE: Canucks vs. Kings from Shanghai, China

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The Vancouver Canucks and L.A. Kings will make history on Thursday.

The two teams will face each other in an exhibition series in China, marking the first time NHL teams will play preseason games in that country. The two-game set gets underway with Thursday’s contest from the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

Set your alarms, wake up early (especially if you’re on the west coast!), put on a pot of coffee and catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 a.m. ET) or online with the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for today’s game:

NHL hopes to make inroads in China with exhibition games

It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

Canucks-Kings exhibition series in China highlights preseason schedule

NHL preseason games in China are ‘the biggest deal’ for local fans

NHL looks to China to ‘expand the sport’

 

Video: Flames goalie makes incredible behind-the-back glove save

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A save of the year candidate in September? It’s possible.

Jon Gillies of the Calgary Flames made an incredible stop during Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks.

The camera angle from directly above the net is the best, as it clearly shows how Gillies appeared to bump the puck back toward the goal line, then suddenly reach back with a no-look, behind-the-back glove save to prevent a Canucks goal and stop play.

That is one incredible save.

Drouin shows ‘commitment’ to community with donation to Montreal hospital

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Jonathan Drouin has yet to play a regular season game for his new team, the Montreal Canadiens.

But after getting traded to the Habs in the summer, Drouin has already made a sizable contribution in the community, donating $500,000 over 10 years to the University of Montreal Hospital Centre and planning to help in the fundraising activities to raise an additional $5 million, according to The Canadian Press.

From Sportsnet:

“I think all of that had some impact on his overall decision making,” Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh told Sportsnet. “One day when he’s retired and 50 years old, that hospital [which will begin serving patients for the first time this coming October] will still be here and he’ll have played a role in its development. That means something to him.

“But I think more than anything else he wants to help people. If he can help people—the hospital is going to be the largest hospital in North America and there’s a tremendous need for it in the city—and if he can use the fact that he plays for the Montreal Canadiens to do that, I wish more players felt that kind of responsibility to their communities.”

As noted in the Sportsnet piece above, Drouin is following in the footsteps of Saku Koivu and P.K. Subban, who made generous donations in the community during their time in Montreal.

The Habs acquired Drouin from the Lightning in June, sending prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to Tampa Bay. They then signed the 22-year-old forward — who was born in nearby Ste-Agathe, Que. — to a six-year, $33 million contract.

It won’t be long before the pressure falls on Drouin’s on-ice ability, especially playing as a potential No. 1 center in Montreal and essentially being a hometown player for the Habs. But without even playing a meaningful game for his new team, he’s already giving back to an important cause in the city.

“And when you look at that, if you make $6 million and you give $50,000 a year, it’s not a big deal and you get tax receipts,” he said, per the Montreal Gazette. “But it’s a commitment, and being involved in the community and doing something for your community I think it’s something that you have to do.”

Lupul apologizes, takes ‘full responsibility’ after calling out Maple Leafs on Instagram

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Joffrey Lupul made headlines earlier this week after appearing to make accusations against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Instagram.

The comments — which have since been deleted but caught on a screen grab — came after the Maple Leafs announced Lupul failed his physical prior to training camp for the second year in a row.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per the screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

On Wednesday, the 33-year-old forward, who hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season, posted a statement on his verified Twitter account, saying his Instagram comments were an “inappropriate response.”

Here is his entire statement:

What’s also significant is that he stated he will not seek a second medical opinion regarding this failed physical. As previously noted, that option was available to him, although, per reports, the deadline for this was 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Lupul is in the final year of his five-year, $26.25 million contract.