The Flyers are looking to avoid their first 0-4-0 in franchise history. They began 0-3-3 in 2008-09. This is the first of five meetings this season with the Rangers, three of which will be at the Wells Fargo Center. There isn’t a long break between meetings as the two squads will faceoff at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The Flyers are 114-109-37-7 all time against the Rangers and 63-52-14-4 in Philadelphia. The Rangers have won eight straight against the Flyers as the Flyers have not beat the Rangers since February 20, 2011. The Flyers will be without Scott Hartnell who is out indefinitely with a foot injury and without Brayden Schenn who was suspended one game for his bone-rattling hit on Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday night.
Between the Pipes: Ilya Bryzgalov (0-3-0, 3.04 GAA, .902 SV%). Bryzgalov has gotten the loss in the first three games of the season and has allowed two or more goals in each game. Despite what the numbers are saying Bryzgalov has not played poorly to start the year. He has not made that “one” major save that shifts momentum but he has also not allowed an easy, head-scratching goal. Bryzgalov is 1-5-0 in six career starts against the Rangers with a 3.91 GAA and a .873 SV%. By comparison, Flyers backup Michael Leighton is 1-1-1 in three career starts against the Rangers with a 1.64 GAA and a .935 SV%.
The Rangers also got off to a slow start as well as they dropped their first two games before taking on the Bruins last night. Marian Gaborik kicked off the scoring by scoring two goals in the first period a little over two minutes apart. With the game tied at three in overtime, Gaborik intercepted a pass and beat Tuuka Rask on a breakaway to record his 14th career hat trick and get the Rangers their first win of the season. Last year the Rangers dominated the Flyers as they outscored them 24-11 (34-13 during the eight game winning streak) and 7-1 in the first period. The Rangers scored first in five of the six matchups last year. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is one point away from his 200th NHL point and Derek Stepan is one point from his 100th NHL point.
Between the Pipes: Henrik Lundqvist (1-2-0, 4.03 GAA, .877 SV%). Lundqvist is coming off of a night where he stopped 26 of 29 shots en route to his first victory of the season. He was shaky in the second game of a back-to-back over the weekend in which the Penguins scored four times on just 18 shots. In his career, Lundqvist is 22-10-3 with a 2.60 GAA, .912 SV%, and four shutouts against the Flyers. He was also just featured in a very entertaining “This is Sportscenter” commercial.
Puck drop is slated for 7:00 pm tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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