Rangers-Derek Stepan: The 22 year-old center has made a definite jump in the level of his play---in all facets of the game---and as such head coach John Tortorella is leaning more and more on him. Stepan played more than 24 minutes in Sunday's 3-2 win over Buffalo, playing major roles at even strength---centering for Ryan Callahan and Taylor Pyatt, the power play---where he plays on the top unit and contributed a 5-on-3 power play goal, and on the top penalty killing unit---where he helped the Blueshirts go a perfect 5-for-5, including a huge kill of a two-man disadvantage in overtime. Stepan has played more than 20 minutes in ten of his last 12 games, after seeing that much ice-time only once in his first eight games this season. With four goals and six points in his last nine matches, Stepan is now tied for fourth on the team with 11 points, and his five goals are tied for third most.
Flyers-Wayne Simmonds: Following up on the career-best 28 goals and 49 points he produced a year ago, the 24 year-old Simmonds is playing at an even higher level so far in 2013. Simmonds has nine goals, 17 points, and 46 penalty minutes through 20 games played, and has already produced three game-winning scores---all in the Flyers last three victories---and four power play tallies. He also still loves playing the Rangers. So far he has had his hand involved in every goal---three in total---the Flyers have scored against the Rangers in two previous meetings this season, notching a goal and two assists vs. the Blueshirts. Simmonds enters play having scored goals in back-to-back games, and with nine points (5-4-9) in his last seven matches overall.