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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 2:16 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers don't have a time machine so their focus has to be on the present, starting with a visit from the New York Rangers on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, City).

That means back-to-back losses against the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs, teams behind them in the standings, have to be ignored.

"They're over with," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. "It's done. There's nothing you can do about it now. Can't go back in a time machine and replay those games. We'd like to, but you can't do it. Have to focus on the task at hand, and that's the New York Rangers."

The Flyers have lost four straight to the Rangers, including three games in 10 days in November.

"They're a good team," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "One of the best teams in the League. You can tell that from the standings. … They play good defense with very good offensive players. That's probably the worst combination you can have to play against. They play a very tight-checking game and they are very good defensively. When you make a mistake they can make you pay."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 12:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Zuccarello thinking about Rangers, not trade talk

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello said Saturday he's doing his best to ignore rumors he could be playing elsewhere after the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline passes Monday at 3 p.m. ET.

Zuccarello has 12 goals and 35 points in 58 games this season and can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In a similar situation last season, the Rangers traded captain Ryan Callahan at the deadline to the Tampa Bay Lightning rather than risk him leaving as a free agent after the season.

"I got a game today," Zuccarello said Saturday after the Rangers' morning skate at Wells Fargo Center prior to their game against the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET, NBC, City). "That's all I'm focusing on. That's the only thing I can control. … Try not to think about it. Work hard tonight and do whatever I can to win hockey games, that's my focus. This is my team."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.22.2015 / 12:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Goalie Braden Holtby will start his fourth straight game for the Washington Capitals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. It will be his NHL-high 51st start.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he isn't worried about Holtby getting tired, even after he made 30 saves Saturday in a 3-2 shootout win against the New York Islanders.

"I don't see it as an issue," Trotz said Sunday of Holtby's playing time. "I thing we've been managing it pretty well. When you give him days off he spends two hours on the ice anyway. I'm not worried about him right now."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 12:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette said he enjoyed the five seasons he spent coaching the Philadelphia Flyers, a tenure that included a trip to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

But Laviolette also knows from experience how vocal Flyers fans can be toward the opposition. Though his tenure was mostly successful, he said he's ready for just about anything when he returns to Wells Fargo Center for the first time since being fired after three games last season.

"You never know what to expect when you come back," Laviolette told the Predators website Friday. "Certainly for me, the fans here were always really supportive of me and the teams we always had here. The building was great. But you never know what the reaction is going to be."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers had their nine-game point streak ended Tuesday. They believe the key to starting another streak is having short memories.

"You've got to shake it off as quick as possible," Flyers defenseman Mark Streit said. "At this time of the year you always want to win and every point is crucial. At the same time, you need a really short memory. A lot of key games, busy schedule. Things just happen. You don't want to lose, but it happens. You have to turn the page and move on and focus on the next one."

That comes Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Flyers' 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday was their first regulation loss since Jan. 19. Their 6-0-3 stretch got them within six points of the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Bruins' shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday leaves the Flyers seven points back with 25 games remaining.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.05.2015 / 1:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Islanders at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers have one of the best power plays in the NHL. With the way the New York Islanders have struggled killing penalties recently, the Flyers will put even more of an emphasis on using the man-advantage to their advantage.

"We've got to create some opportunities on the power play," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "We need to work and skate and get power plays. And when we do have them we have to shoot pucks and make sure we're simple and getting pucks to the net and have traffic there. Just a simple power play; that's when we're effective."

Philadelphia is fourth on the power play (23.4 percent) and second at home (28.1 percent). But the Islanders have been shorthanded the third-fewest times in the League (139), so the Flyers know they will have to play fast and skate hard for any power-play chances.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.31.2015 / 5:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- With eight straight losses (0-7-1) and three wins in their past 19 games (3-15-1), Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said it's only human nature for he and his teammates to be in a foul mood right now when they face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

However, he's been around long enough to know that things can change in a hurry.

"It feels right now like we need something to go right," Lupul said after the Maple Leafs' morning skate Saturday at Wells Fargo Center. "But that's not going to happen unless you come here with a positive attitude and expect to win the game. It's kind of ... it's a bit of a struggle. You need everyone to show up with a positive attitude but there hasn't been that much positive to build on. It takes having a good mindset and being mentally strong to come in here and be ready to go."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 1:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the reasons the Winnipeg Jets are entrenched in a Stanley Cup Playoff spot this season is the way they've played after losses.

The Jets won their season opener and then lost four straight. Since then they've lost consecutive games five times, but no losing streak has been longer than two games. They're 13-4-1 after losses.

"I think we've done a good job resetting after losses, not letting them compound," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. "I think it's just a mindset of rebounding, especially with our battle level and compete, and making sure we're giving ourselves a chance the next game."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 1:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Flyers

Steve Mason will be in uniform for the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes, but as the backup goaltender.

Mason, who has not played since Jan. 10 because of a lower-body injury, took part in the morning skate Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center and said it's the best he's felt since getting hurt, and that even takes into account an illness that kept him from practicing Monday.

"Today was the best workout I've had since the injury," Mason said, according to the Flyers website. "Felt really good today. Been sick the past couple days, so the wind wasn't there, but overall I felt really good."

In Mason's absence, Ray Emery and Rob Zepp have split time in goal. Emery, who will start Tuesday, is coming off one of his best performances of the season, a 33-save win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 20.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.20.2015 / 5:50 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins might be just the opponent the other team needs to see.

Each team is scuffling entering the game Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center. The Penguins are second in the Metropolitan Division but have lost two straight, are 4-6-2 in their past 12 and have seen their lead on the third-place New York Rangers shrink to two points. The Flyers have lost three of their past four and are 11 points behind the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think especially the way Philly plays, usually physical, up-tempo, might be a good wake-up call for us," Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "Gets you into the game early. You know it's going to be physical. Helps you get into a game, and a rivalry game definitely gets the blood flowing."

The Flyers have won five in a row against the Penguins, including a 5-3 victory Oct. 22 in Pittsburgh. The game will feature four of the top five scorers in the League, topped by Flyers forward Jakub Voracek's NHL-best 55 points and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is third with 51 points. The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin and Flyers captain Claude Giroux are tied for fourth with 50 points.

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Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday