FLYERS (23-18-4) at RANGERS (23-20-3)
TV: NBCSN, RDS2
Last 10: Philadelphia 7-3-0; New York 7-2-1
Big story: A lot has changed since these teams last saw each other. The victory against the Rangers started the Flyers on a stretch that has seen them go 22-11-4 after a 1-7-0 start. The Rangers were 2-6-0 after the loss, but are 21-14-3 since. Each team has rebounded from its bad starts and hold playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.
Flyers: Philadelphia comes to the Garden one day after its own 10-game home winning streak ended with a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Flyers overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits, but a rare rough start by Steve Mason (five goals on 17 shots in two periods) was too much to overcome.
Forward Wayne Simmonds wasn't prepared to let his goaltender take all the blame for the loss.
"I think we played like garbage defensively," Simmonds said. "I thought we had all the chances in the world offensively, we were clicking. We just have to get that defensive game back tight. We have to get it tight going again."
Rangers: One reason for the Rangers' improvement after a slow start has been the power play. The Rangers were 23rd in the NHL with the extra man last season and often looked lost. After scoring once in two tries in a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Friday, they are sixth in the NHL at 21.3 percent. New York has power-play goals in four straight games and is 5-for-13 in that stretch.
The power play was the focus at practice on Saturday in preparation for a game against the NHL's most-penalized team.
"We just have a lot more confidence on it," center Brad Richards, who serves as one of the point men on the No. 1 power-play unit along with defenseman Ryan McDonagh, told the team's website. "The coaches have kept the same units together where there were a lot of moving parts last year and it was tough sometimes to get on the same page. Some nights it hasn't been good, but we get back to practice the next day and go to work on it. We're always working on it."
Who's hot: Flyers captain Claude Giroux had two assists Saturday, giving him 21 points in his past 15 games. … Richards set up two of the three goals against the Stars, giving him six points in his past four games. He leads the Rangers with 33 points.
Injury report: The Flyers are without forwards Zac Rinaldo (ankle) and Matt Read (concussion). Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (knee) is ready to return. … Rangers forward Derek Dorsett is sidelined with a broken leg.
|M. Del Zotto||37||2||8||10||-4||8||1||0|