NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 10th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (21-15-4) at New York Rangers (20-18-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of Atlantic Division rivals will resume hostilities
this evening at Madison Square Garden, as the New York Rangers welcome the
Philadelphia Flyers to Manhattan.
Just one point separates the Flyers and Rangers in the division standings, as
Philadelphia is third with 46 points and New York is tied for last with the
Islanders. New Jersey leads the Atlantic with 51 points.
The Rangers have defeated the Flyers in the first two of eight meetings
between the clubs this season. New York has taken four straight, seven of
eight and eight of the last 10 encounters in the series.
Philadelphia has dropped two in a row and three of its previous four games at
The Flyers have won five of their last six contests and are coming off
Tuesday's triumph in Atlanta. Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists as
Philly continued their domination of the Thrashers with a 4-1 victory at
Jeff Carter scored a pair of goals while Steve Downie notched his second goal
in as many games for the Flyers.
Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves in the win for Philadelphia, which has won
eight straight against Atlanta and is 11-0-1 against the Thrashers since a 4-1
loss on December 21, 2003.
Philadelphia expects to have star winger Simon Gagne back in the lineup
tonight after he missed the last 26 games with a concussion. Gagne, who scored
40-plus goals in each of his previous two seasons, has been sidelined since
suffering the injury in a game against Pittsburgh on November 8.
Defenseman Jason Smith (shin) and wingers Sami Kapanen (dental surgery) and
Scottie Upshall (ankle) are all questionable for this evening's tilt.
Tonight's test marks the end of a six-game road trip for the Flyers, who are
4-1-0 on the swing and 13-10-0 as the visiting club this season.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have lost four straight contests and have yet to post a
win in 2008.
New York's latest setback came Tuesday evening against visiting Tampa Bay, as
Chris Gratton posted two goals and an assist to lift the Lightning to a 5-3
decision. Tampa had dropped seven straight games before posting the win in the
Michal Rozsival recorded a goal and an assist for the Rangers, Paul Mara added
two helpers and Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 25 shots.
The Rangers, who are 13-9-0 as the host this year, are playing the middle test
of a three-game homestand tonight. The Blueshirts will also host Montreal on
Saturday to wrap up the residency.
01/10 10:45:55 ET