Tonight the New York Rangers will look to even the season series with their hated rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, after their 2-1 loss to the orange and black. Last game the Flyers played their best game of their season, to that point, and really brought their physical presence. The Flyers attacked often and early and played well on special teams, scoring their first power play goal of the season. With that being said, the Rangers came extremely close to sending the game to overtime. After a Taylor Pyatt power play goal only a minute into the the third, the Rangers got a 5-3 power play around the mid way through the third and failed to capitalize. As the rivalry resumes to night a Madison Square Garden, here are the keys for both teams and predictions.
The Flyers are coming off of a bad performance against the Lightning on Sunday and are looking to get the season back on track. Special teams play has really killed the Flyers to this point in the season. The Flyers are 24th in the league on their power play, scoring on only 12.9% of their chances, and rank 27th on the penalty kill, only stopping their opponents 69% of the time. Bryzgalov has played outstanding in his first five starts of the season will have to play well to give the Flyers a chance. The Flyers offense, besides their offensive explosion versus the Panthers on Saturday, hasn't kicked into gear yet and they're only averaging 2.17 goals per game. This means that the Flyers defense is under constant pressure to keep the Flyers in games. In order for the Flyers to repeat their results of the last time they played the Rangers, the Flyers special teams is going to have to show up and be a force and Bryzgalov has to be brick wall in net.
New York Rangers:
The Rangers are coming off of a rare two day break and will try to grab their 3rd win of the season Tuesday night at home against the Flyers. After a poor first 3 games, Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to play like King Henrik again. He allowed 2 goals in each of his last two games, one a win versus the Leafs and one a loss to the Flyers. The Rangers are in a similar boat as the Flyers, struggling on special teams. The Rangers rank 27th in power play percentage and rank 16th in penalty kill percentage. This has come as a shock to people because the acquisition of Rick Nash was predicted to give the Rangers a killer power play, teaming up with Brad Richards and Marin Gaborik. To this point in the season, things haven't seemed to click on the Rangers power play and it has contributed to the teams lack of success. Just like the Flyers, the Rangers success tonight will come down to goaltending and special teams.
Tonights game is between two really good teams that have not lived up to the hype just yet. The the Flyers power play, and offense in general, hasn't clicked yet and has cost the team early on in the season. The Rangers power play has been cold to start, but the resurgence of their super star goalie seems to have sparked the team. I believe tonights game will come down to the special teams performances. On the penalty kill, a team goalie needs to be the teams best player, and both teams will look for their goalie to be that player tonight.
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