NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Friday’s NHL Thanksgiving Showdown between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at 1 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
It’s a meeting of two teams currently heading in different directions. The Flyers have spun their wheels for most of the season while dealing with numerous injuries to their goaltending. That’s led to a 9-10-2 start and a seat near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It was only two weeks ago they were on a nice 5-0-1 run.
The Rangers, on the other hand, have come around after a slow start under new head coach David Quinn. The Blueshirts are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and find themselves tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets atop the Metropolitan Division.
“We were 3-7-1 at one point, and I don’t think the feeling in this room was that (bad). We felt we had a chance to win a lot of those games,” said forward Kevin Hayes. “We stuck with it. We’re a hard-working team. Our coach preaches hard work, and I feel like we do that all year and now we’re stringing together some wins.”
One of the nice surprises during this run has been 19-year-old Filip Chytil, who is riding a five-game goal streak. That makes him the 20th different teenager in NHL history to record a goal in five or more consecutive team games
How important is playoff position on Thanksgiving Day? History says it’s a good indication of which teams will be in the postseason. Here are how things have shaped up since the NHL adopted its current playoff format:
Since 2001-02, at least three teams each season have reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs after being outside the postseason picture at Thanksgiving.
While Philadelphia does not currently occupy a playoff spot, the Flyers were not in playoff position on Thanksgiving last season and ultimately made the playoffs by going 34-17-9 (77 pts) the rest of the way.
What: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Where: Wells Fargo Center
When: Friday, November 23rd, 1 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Rangers-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Starting goalie: Henrik Lundqvist
Starting goalie: Calvin Pickard
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.