W2W4: Rangers Kick Off Busy Stretch vs. Flyers Thursday

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Players To Watch


Rangers-Cam Talbot: An injury to Henrik Lundqvist has thrust the 26 year-old rookie into the spotlight as Talbot will make his NHL debut in the jostile environs of Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. Talbot's calm and cool demeanor will be put to the test as the agrressive Flyers will clearly look to throw him off his game as best they can--meaning Talbot had better be prepared for some physical contact. Combine that with a rowdy pro-Flyers crowd, and the the fact that the Rangers are trying desperately to regain their footing after losing five of their first seven games, and Talbot has his worked cut out for him. An undrafted free agent who caught the Rangers eye his senior year at Alabama-Huntsville, Talbot has battled his way into the team's plans this season after appearing in a career-high 55 games in the AHL a year ago. Talbot impressed Alain Vigneault in training camp, and was summoned to the varsity from Hartford when Martin Biron's slow start forced the Blueshirts to place the veteran on waivers. Now that Biron subsequently retired, Talbot is Lundqvist's understudy and his NHL initiation begins Thursday.


Flyers-Vincent Lecavalier: One of the biggest names to switch teams this past season was Lecavalier, who after 14 years with the Tampa Bay Lightning had his contract bought out by his long-time employers before signing a free agent deal with the Flyers. Lecavalier brought 1,037 games, 383 goals, 874 points, four All Star Game appearances, a Rocket Richard Trophy as well as a King Clancy Trophy, and a Stanley Cup championship with him from Tampa, and the former first overall draft pick seemed energized about his new start in Philadelphia. Lecavalier notched an assist on opening night and followed with his first goal as a Flyer in the second game against Montreal en-route to a 1-2-3 start for the struggling Broad Street Bullies. After being sidelined the past two games it appears Lecavalier is set to return to the lineup Thursday against the Rangers, and he just might be playing a new position as head coach Craig Berube had him skating the past two days on left wing on a line centered by Claude Giroux. A career-long centerman, Lecavalier would have to adjust a bit, but like his former teammate Brad Richards has shown in New York, it can be done.