Rick Nash

Thanksgiving Shutdown: Rangers blank listless Flyers for second time this season

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The second meeting of the year between the Rangers and Flyers was an awful lot like the first.

Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash scored while Cam Talbot stopped all 26 shots faced as New York blanked an uninspired Flyers team 3-0 at Wells Fargo, on what was a very Black Friday in Philadelphia.

Nine days ago, the Flyers were also blanked by the Talbot and the Rangers — 2-0, in the first meeting of the year between the two teams. That game was notable because, afterward, GM Ron Hextall unloaded on players with a profanity-laced tirade inside the MSG dressing room.

Hextall’s rant has done little to change the on-ice product, however.

The Flyers lost three of four following that defeat in New York, including Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Detroit which was followed with a players-only meeting. “It’s easy to see things slipping away,” goalie Steve Mason said, a notion pundits seem to be agreeing with:

As for today’s game, there were no more signs of life than previous outings. Philly only mustered 26 shots — including a mere 15 through the first two periods — and allowed another power play goal, marking the seventh time in the last eight games the league’s worst PK unit has allowed at least one PPG. Unsurprisingly, Flyers were showered with boos by the disappointed home crowd.

With the loss, Philly dropped to 8-11-3 on the year, falling five points back of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have now won three of four and are looking like a fortress defensively; today’s game marked the return of captain and top defender Ryan McDonagh, and it also marked the third time in the last four games New York posted a shutout.

Notes

McDonagh had 22:12 of ice time in his return, and notched an assist… St. Louis’ goal was the 1,000th point of his career… These two teams will meet again tomorrow at MSG.

NHL on NBC: Rangers vs. Flyers in a Thanksgiving Showdown

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NBC will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 pm ET today. In addition to NBC, you can also watch the game online.

Leftovers, impulse shopping and hockey. Black Friday presents quite the combination of joyous indulgences, especially if you tune in to the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Rangers won the first meeting of the season between these two teams, as Cam Talbot pitched a shutout in a 2-0 contest. This begins a home-and-home, back-to-back set between rival franchises who really need to get their acts together.

That’s especially true since each squad eyes a rough scheduling stretch and deals with a bumpy month of November overall.

New York dropped a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a night of conflicted feelings for Martin St. Louis. The Flyers were so frustrated by their 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings that they held a players-only meeting after the game.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall addressed some of his own concerns with the team, as CSNPhilly.com reports.

“We played really well for two periods and very poorly for one period,” Hextall said. “Is that trying? Is that frustration because we play well the first period and come out down a goal? That’s a thing we have to overcome as a group and respond to adversity.”

Both the Rangers and Flyers shouldn’t lack for opportunities to prove they can deal with adversity going forward.

Two hot scorers go toe-to-toe

Former Columbus Blue Jackets first-rounders rank high on the list of players to watch on Friday. Philly’s Jakub Voracek ranks second in the league in scoring with 30 points. New York’s Rick Nash is tied with Steven Stamkos for second place in goals with 15, and he’s done so in two fewer games.

With St. Louis and Claude Giroux among the mix (among others), there should be plenty of star power on hand to make for a captivating afternoon game.

Cam Talbot looks to give the Rangers a spark in net while the Flyers will likely go with Steve Mason instead of Ray Emery (keep an eye on goalie nods to make sure, though).

***

Today’s game kicks off an important home-and-home set for both teams, who need to make every game count after sluggish starts.

Lightning spoil St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay

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Ryan Callahan scored twice and Steven Stamkos added a goal and two assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the New York Rangers 4-3 Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay improved to 13-0-0 when Callahan scores this season.

“I think he’s pretty excited to play these games and prove to a lot of people how good of a player he really is,” said Callahan’s former teammate, Henrik Lundqvist.

Nikita Kucherov had the other Tampa goal.

The game marked Martin St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay where he spent 13 seasons winning a Stanley Cup in 2004.

During a TV time out in the first period, the Lightning paid tribute to St. Louis with this video montage:

St. Louis got a mix of cheers and boos throughout the night.

“I was very flattered by the ovation and I wanted to give them the proper thank you,” said St. Louis. “The boos are expected, I understand that, they care, they are great fans and they care.”

Mats Zuccarello, Dan Boyle and Rick Nash had the Rangers goals. Lundqvist made 25 saves in the loss.

Ben Bishop improved to 13-3-2 with a 16 save performance.

Video: Nash with a high hit on Palat

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Rick Nash hit Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat with a high hit late in the first period Wednesday night.

Nash was assessed a minor penalty for high sticking and a minor penalty for roughing on the play.

Palat was able to get to the bench on his own.

Ryan Callahan tied the game 2-2 on the ensuing power play.

Report: Perron could be headed to Columbus

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On Sunday afternoon it was reported Oilers forward David Perron’s name has surfaced in trade talk.

It appears the Oilers may have found a taker.

TSN’s Aaron Ward is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers have had discussions on a trade, which would see Perron head to Ohio in exchange for center Artem Anisimov.

As Ward points out, both John Davidson and Jarmo Kekelainen were with the St. Louis organization when the Blues selected Perron.

Perron, 26, was the Blues’ first-round pick (26th overall) in 2007. He has 30 goals and 67 points in 99 games since joining the Oilers in a July 2013 trade, which saw Edmonton send Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second-round pick to St. Louis.

Anisimov, 26, was the Rangers second-round pick (54th overall) in 2006. The center was dealt by New York to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade during the 2011-12 season. Anisimov has two goals and six points in 14 games this season.