NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 20th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (38-15-5) at New York Rangers (31-25-4), 12:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to rebound from just their third loss in 10 games when they visit the struggling New York Rangers for today's Atlantic Division clash at Madison Square Garden.
Philadelphia has won all three meetings with the Rangers this season and the Flyers have outscored New York by an 11-4 margin. All told, the Flyers have won four in a row and six of eight in the series, but the Blueshirts have taken four of the last six encounters at MSG.
The Flyers fell to 7-3-0 in their last 10 contests with Friday's 3-2 setback at Carolina. Erik Cole scored the go-ahead goal with 3:03 left in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to their first victory against Philadelphia in more than two years.
Cole's tally came a little more than two minutes after the Flyers' Braydon Coburn tied the game, and helped Carolina snap a nine-game losing streak against Philadelphia. The Hurricanes had not beaten the Flyers since November 28, 2008, and also recorded their first regulation victory against them since December 19, 2006.
The victory came on the night that the Hurricanes retired Rod Brind'Amour's No. 17. Brind'Amour played with Carolina from 2000-10, after spending eight- plus seasons with Philadelphia. He won a Stanley Cup in 2006, when current Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was the Hurricanes' head man.
Blair Betts also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, while Sergei Bobrovsky played well but came up just short in the loss, stopping 26 shots.
"I liked the way we played in the second period, third period, we were able to tie it up," Laviolette said. "Tough break on that last one. We're pressing, it just comes back."
Betts is expected to miss today's game after suffering a lacerated left ring finger on Friday. However, the Flyers are hoping to have captain Mike Richards back today after he sat out the last game with flu-like symptoms. Richards is questionable for today's tilt.
The Flyers are 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip that is set to end today at MSG. Philly is 19-7-3 as the visiting team this season.
Philadelphia is leading the division and Eastern Conference with 81 points, while the Rangers are third in the Atlantic and seventh in the conference standings.
The Rangers had won two straight before dropping Friday's 1-0 decision in New Jersey. The setback was New York's seventh loss in its last nine games (2-6-1). Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal of the game near the midway mark of the second period, as the Devils edged the Rangers at Prudential Center.
Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 27-of-28 shots for the Rangers.
"We did get some chances, but for the most part they defended pretty well," said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. "We just need to find a way to get an ugly one, or just to bang one home and tie it up."
New York has won two in a row on home ice, but is just 14-12-3 at the Garden this season.
02/20 10:41:53 ET