Claude Giroux

Flyers losing streak at four following loss to Wild

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A night after Flyers GM Ron Hextall called his team’s performance “embarrassing” following a 2-0 loss in New York, Philadelphia responded with a 3-2 home ice loss to the Minnesota Wild Thursday.

Jason Zucker scored the game-winner with 46 seconds remaining in the third. Nino Niederreiter and Marco Scandella had the others for Minnesota, who stretched its’ win streak to four games.

“We didn’t let our guard down,” Flyers’ coach Craig Berube told CSNPhilly.com post-game. “We played well. We took the play to them most of the game. We made two mistakes in the third period we shouldn’t make and it cost us two goals. But if we play like that we’ll win a lot of hockey games. That’s got to be the focus.

“It’s not good enough, we lost. But that’s the way we got to play. That’s the competitiveness we are looking for.”

Mark Streit and captain Claude Giroux had the goals for the Flyers.

“We played the right way and had a lot of chances to score and defensively we played well too,” Giroux said. “It’s obviously frustrating for them to score there in the last minute.”

Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves improving to 9-5-0 on the season while Ray Emery stopped 26 shots in the loss.

Philadelphia lost forward Chris VandeVelde to a lower body injury early in the third period. The team announced post-game that he is day-to-day.

Next 10 games won’t be easy for Flyers

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The Philadelphia Flyers got off to an awful start last season, going 4-10-1 in their first 15, and still managed to fight back and make the playoffs.

While they haven’t dug quite so deep a hole this season (7-8-2), as Halford already mentioned this morning, their next 10 games will be a challenge:

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Seven of 10 on the road, where the Flyers are 2-6-0 so far.

Nine of 10 against teams that made the playoffs last season. (Only the Islanders missed. And the Islanders aren’t looking like they’ll miss this season.)

True, there are a couple against Columbus, which is really hurting right now. And it’s not like the Rangers have been lights out.

But it won’t be enough to just win the games the Flyers are supposed to win. They need to make up ground, and in order to do that, they need to play considerably better than they’ve been playing.

Consider: the Flyers have been outshot in their last six games, including last night’s 2-0 loss in New York that made GM Ron Hextall so furious. Based on score-adjusted Corsi, Philadelphia is the fifth-worst puck possession team in the NHL, ahead of only Toronto, Calgary, Colorado and Buffalo.

“We kinda sat back,” captain Claude Giroux said of the Rangers game. “We had our chances in the third period. … I know I can play better. We got to find a way to get our game going here.”

Next up for the Flyers? A home date tonight against the Wild, with Minnesota rolling into town on a three-game winning streak.

Nash, Talbot lead Rangers over the Flyers

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Kevin Klein and Rick Nash had the New York goals as the Rangers avoided going four straight without a win blanking the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 Wednesday night.

Cam Talbot made 31 saves for the shutout.

The Rangers held the Flyers to under 10 shots in each of the first two periods.

Post-game both Flyers head coach Craig Berube and GM Ron Hextall were heard voicing their displeasure over a lack of pushback.

Philadelphia has now lost three straight while being out-scored by a 12-6 margin.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who was expected to miss the game due to a suspected ankle injury, played nearly 26 minutes registering four shots on goal. Philadelphia defenseman Michael Del Zotto left the game early in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

Steve Mason, who was run over by teammate Braydon Coburn in the final minute of the second period, made 32 saves while seeing his record drop to 3-6-1 on the season.

WATCH LIVE: Flyers at Rangers on Rivalry Night (8 p.m. ET)

Tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers will play at Madison Square Garden for the first time since the Rangers eliminated them in the opening round of last year’s playoffs. It promises to be an engaging Rivalry Night affair, though the Flyers will head into it minus the services of captain Claude Giroux (out with a reported ankle injury).

WATCH THE GAME ONLINE HERE

Relevant linkage for tonight’s contest:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Flyers on Rivalry Night

Flyers summon top prospect Laughton

Giroux (ankle?) to miss a few ‘days,’ but probably not ‘weeks’

After rule clarification, Pronger to be eligible for Hall of Fame next year

Duclair: ‘I don’t have much to prove’ in junior

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Flyers on Rivalry Night

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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.

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Will either team start to get it together tonight? Maybe, maybe not … but it could be an especially hostile edition of “Rivalry Night.”