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

Getty
1 Comment

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.