New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 1:00 PM at Madison Square Garden
Where To Watch: MSG Network
Where To Listen: 1050 ESPN Radio
Live In-Game Chat: 12:45 PM on BlueshirtsUnited.com
The Rangers (32-12-5, 69 pts) and Flyers (30-15-6, 66 pts) will be wearing their Winter Classic jerseys when they face each other on Super Bowl Sunday, but this time when they wear those particular sweaters they'll be skating indoors at Madison Square Garden instead of outdoors at Citizens Bank Ballpark, the first meeting of these two divisional rivals since the actual Winter Classic on January 2nd. The Blueshirts expect a fired-up and angry opponent on Sunday, in what likely will be an extremely physical contest. Philly is coming off a 6-4 loss on home ice Saturday to the Devils---a game they embarassingly fell behind by the score of 6-0 in the second period---plus they have dropped all three games they have played against the Rangers so far this season. With the Rangers holding a three-point edge on the Flyers for first place in the Atlantic Division---while also having played two fewer games than Philly---the remaining head-to-head matchups between these two teams are crucial. The Blueshirts are 3-1-1 in their last five games, with both contests they have played since the All Star break being decided in the shootout---a 4-3 loss in New Jersey and a 1-0 victory in Buffalo. Philly has been inconsistent of late, posting a 4-3-2 record over its last nine games, and unable to win two games in a row since January 10th and 12th.
This is the fourth of six meetings this season between the Rangers and Flyers, and the first of two this week. After the two teams skate against each other on Sunday at The Garden they will square off again next Saturday afternoon down in Philadelphia. The Blueshirts have won each of the first three meetings this season, including a pair at The Garden. On November 26th Henrik Lundqvist blanked Philly 2-0 at MSG, and on the 23rd of december the Blueshirts doubled up the Flyers 4-2, also on home ice. Then in the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Ballpark on January 2nd, the Rangers spotted the Flyers a 2-0 lead before tying the game on a pair of Mike Rupp goals, and winning it on a Brad Richards tally in the third period. Lundqvist sealed the deal in the final seconds by famously denying Danny Briere on a penalty shot to preserve the victory.
"Philly is Philly, it's a little special, I'm not going to lie. It's a great matchup, and to play against them is always a challenge. The atmosphere is always great and that adds to it. Going into the building and feeling that this is an important game---I like that feeling---and you get that with Philly. So far we have been able to play really well against them, but they're going to come even harder now to try and get the first one against us in this series. We have to be ready."-Henrik Lundqvist
By The Numbers
Coming off the 1-0 shootout shutout victory over the Sabres on Wednesday night, Henrik Lundqvist has now earned shutouts in each of his last two starts, and in three of his last five. His current shutout streak is a career-high 150 minutes and 45 seconds, and his six shutouts this season are currently tied for the league lead.
Former Ranger Jaromir Jagr notched a goal and assist for the Flyers Saturday against the Devils, and now has four points in his last three games (1-3-4) since returning from a groin injury. With 13 goals and 38 points in 43 games this season, Jagr now has amassed 659 goals and 1,637 points in 1,316 career National Hockey League games.
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