NEW YORK -- It's been a struggle since the puck was dropped on the 2012-13 season for the Philadelphia Flyers. A 100-point team the past two seasons, injuries and inconsistency have combined to prevent the Flyers from spending even a day above .500 this season.
The Flyers will become one of two teams to reach the midpoint of their season Tuesday by playing their 24th game, and they will do so in an important Atlantic Division battle against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).
After an 0-3-0 start that continued into a 2-6-0 mark, the Flyers are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 11-11-1, one point ahead of the ninth-place Rangers. The Flyers' position is deceiving, however, because they've played the most games in the League and rank 19th overall and tied for ninth in the East with the Winnipeg Jets in points percentage.
If the Flyers lose in regulation Tuesday, they will find themselves one point behind the Rangers, who will have three games in hand. The Flyers could fall as far as 10th in the East with a regulation loss.
Flyers forward Maxime Talbot called this game the biggest of the season.
"We battled through a lot of adversity this year and we're just coming up to .500 after the start we had. It's where we want to be right now," Talbot said. "But now it's about moving up and keep going. Yeah, we have to go through this game to keep building and keep gaining points, so I'd say, yeah, to this day, it's our most important game."