NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The last time the Philadelphia Flyers faced the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, New York knocked them out of the playoffs with a 2-1 win in Game 7 of a first-round series. Considering the Rangers’ long run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, it’s easy for some to forget how close they were to falling to Philly … but the Flyers probably haven’t forgotten.
Both proud franchises are stumbling a bit coming into “Rivalry Night.”
The Rangers are technically ahead of the Flyers in standings points (18 to 16), yet they’ve required two more games to get there; ultimately they’re both in the same spot.
The Rangers are on a three-game losing streak, including Monday’s 5-1 loss to former captain Ryan Callahan and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most troubling is that New York only has one win in its last six games.
Things might not seem as dire for Philly – its current slump was preceded by three straight wins – yet the bottom line is that both teams have a lot of work to do at this point in the 2014-15 campaign.
In and out of the lineups
Wednesday serves to be a challenge for red-hot Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. He has three goals and seven points in the last five games, and with Claude Giroux on the shelf, Schenn is getting a shot at first-line duty between R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek.
Voracek’s been outrageous so far this season, with 26 points in 16 games. That ties him for the NHL scoring lead with Sidney Crosby, who has played in one extra contest this season.
There’s a chance that Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn may return to the mix for Philly tonight, although head coach Craig Berube seems to be betting against that.
With Henrik Lundqvist struggling mightily, perhaps Cam Talbot can right the ship much like he did early last season? He’s getting his first start in six games tonight.
Will either team start to get it together tonight? Maybe, maybe not … but it could be an especially hostile edition of “Rivalry Night.”