Preview: Philadelphia at NY Rangers
When: 1:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Rangers look to avoid their first three-game skid of the season when they host the Metropolitan Division-rival Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. In addition to falling short on the scoreboard Friday, the Rangers lost alternate captain Derek Stepan indefinitely due to the broken ribs he suffered in the team’s 4-3 setback at Boston.
“We’re going to talk about that on the way home here,” coach Alain Vigneault told reporters when asked how they planned to replace the second-line center. “We’ve got another game Saturday, so we’ll focus on that and go from there.” Philadelphia’s focus primarily has been on its sputtering offense (NHL-worst 1.78 goals per contest), but promising defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has provided a few positive headlines of late. The 22-year-old scored his third goal of the season – and second in overtime in the last three games – in a 3-2 win over Nashville on Friday. The victory was the Flyers’ fourth in 16 contests (4-8-4) since posting a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Rangers on Oct. 24.
TV: 1:30 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (8-10-5): Captain Claude Giroux notched a pair of assists against the Predators to extend his point streak to three games and tallied in the bonus format in his last meeting with the Rangers. Steve Mason, who is expected to get the nod in goal on Saturday, has enjoyed considerable success versus New York as he improved to 6-3-1 lifetime following his 37-save performance last month. The Flyers failed on both power-play opportunities against the Rangers in the first meeting but are 4-for-11 with the man advantage in their last three games.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (16-5-2): After registering his franchise-best 57th shutout on Monday, Henrik Lundqvist has yielded nine goals in his last two contests as the division-leading Rangers have become unraveled of late. “For some reason, the last few games we’ve been losing our structure a little bit under pressure, especially the last five minutes,” Lundqvist said. The Swedish Olympian traditionally has righted the ship when facing the Flyers, as he owns a sparkling 28-13-4 career record despite taking the loss in the last meeting following a 46-save effort.
1. Rangers LW Rick Nash has scored six of his seven goals this season in the last four games.
2. The Flyers have successfully killed all 16 short-handed situations in their last five contests.
3. New York C J.T. Miller scored versus the Bruins and also tallied in last month’s meeting with Philadelphia.
PREDICTION: Rangers 5, Flyers 1