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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers' Moore, Flyers' Akeson put friendship aside

Philadelphia Flyers forward Jason Akeson and New York Rangers defenseman John Moore only played one season together with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, but it was a successful one that proved crucial in the development of each player.

Four years later, the former teammates are playing in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the Rangers leading their best-of-7 series 3-2, any fond memories between the two have been put on hold heading into Game 6 on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 12:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Miller in, Carcillo out of Rangers' Game 5 lineup

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will each have one lineup change when they play in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

The Rangers will insert J.T. Miller at right wing on the third line with center Brad Richards and left wing Carl Hagelin. Miller had three goals and three assists in 30 games with the Rangers and 15 goals and 42 points in 43 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate.

It will be the first Stanley Cup Playoff game for Miller, 21. He replaces Daniel Carcillo, who had a goal in Game 3 and six penalty minutes in two games.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 3:38 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers return home seeking better Game 5 result

The New York Rangers were understandably disappointed the day after a 2-1 loss that allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to tie their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series 2-2.

It wasn't just that they lost Game 4 at Wells Fargo Center, but how they lost.

The Rangers got off to a great start against the Flyers in their quest to take a 3-1 series lead. New York outshot Philadelphia 16-6 in the first period, matched the Flyers' physicality, and took a 1-0 lead on Dominic Moore's goal 4:38 into the game. But the Flyers scored the next two goals, held a 35-26 advantage in faceoffs, and held the Rangers without a goal on four power plays.

Looking back on what could have been, the Rangers held an optional skate Saturday. Their next step will be moving on and being ready for Game 5 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

"It's gone now," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said Saturday. "You let it go. Now today it was all about getting the energy back and focusing on tomorrow."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers make adjustments to combat 'excited' starts

VOORHEES, N.J. -- One focus for the Philadelphia Flyers heading into Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Sunday against the New York Rangers is getting off to a better start than they have in the previous three games.

The Flyers have been outscored 6-4 in the first period of the first four games and have allowed the first goal in three in a row. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC,RDS,TSN).

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 1:56 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' Gill expected to replace injured Grossmann

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Quick brain or quick feet.

That's the decision facing Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube as he picks a defenseman to join the lineup for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Sunday (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

With Nicklas Grossmann out with a lower-body injury sustained in the second period of Game 4 on Friday, Berube must choose between speedy 25-year-old Erik Gustafsson or 39-year-old veteran Hal Gill.

"We've got a guy that's a quick guy, he closes quick," Berube said. "He's been a good player for us. And you got the old, crafty veteran back there that has played a lot of games and has got good leadership. He doesn't have the feet the other guy has [but] he's smart. So it's not an easy decision.

"I'm going to sleep on it [Saturday] and wake up in the morning and make a decision."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 5:30 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Vigneault wants Rangers to match Flyers' urgency

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said matching the urgency the Philadelphia Flyers will exhibit from the outset is of utmost importance Friday in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN, CNBC, MSG, CSN-PH).

Vigneault gave his players the morning off the ice but met with the media two hours before faceoff to discuss Game 4. The Rangers hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 5 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

If the series were to go seven games, the final three would be played in a span of four days with Game 6 (Tuesday in Philadelphia) and Game 7 (Wednesday in New York) on consecutive days in different cities.

"I wasn't here for those grueling series [of the past] but I have had my share of them; it's a tough league," Vigneault said. "Teams are good. Everybody that comes into the playoffs would like to win in four but the opposition has something to say about it.

"There's so little separating the teams now. It's more than normal that the series are hard-fought and long. We're going to go out [Friday] and put our focus on one thing and that's the game and what we need to do to have success."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 12:52 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Simmonds sees Game 4 adjustments Flyers can make

PHILADELPHIA -- After establishing career-high regular-season totals across the board in his sixth season, Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds has struggled to find that offensive form in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers.

It certainly hasn't been for a lack of effort; Simmonds has averaged 2.33 shots and two hits in three games against the Rangers. He has one goal and a minus-2 rating to show for it.

In the regular season, Simmonds averaged 2.54 shots and 1.60 hits on his way to 29 goals and 60 points in 82 games.

When Simmonds is doing what he does best -- working the corners, crashing the crease and creating havoc in front of the opposing goalie -- good things usually happen for the Flyers.

The Rangers limited Simmonds and his linemates, Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier, to four shots in a 4-1 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday that gave New York a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. The Flyers will look to get even in Game 4 on Friday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

"We can't change our game; if we change our game we will change the identity of our team, and that's not what we're going for here," Simmonds said after practice Friday. "We want to keep the identity of our team and make sure we're playing on the line, but not over the line."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 12:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers counting on Mason's puck-handling skills

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers have been consistent in saying they have confidence no matter which goalie is in net, Steve Mason or Ray Emery.

But with Mason making his first start of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Friday in Game 4 (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN, CNBC, MSG, CSN-PH), there is one skill that sets him apart from Emery, and that's Mason's ability to handle the puck.

"When you have a guy that can make the right decisions behind the net, it's very important," forward Vincent Lecavalier said. "It helps our defensemen out for sure. Just making that first quick play or them communicating with the defense. It's important to get out of the zone. I think it's going to be a great help for us."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 12:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers want to stick with winning formula

PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Rangers will look to duplicate their blueprint for success against the rival Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Wells Fargo Center on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

The Rangers hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

In a 4-1 victory against the Flyers in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Rangers scored two early goals to take some of the adrenaline and emotion out of the crowd, denied their opponent lanes to shoot the puck, and consistently played with patience.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 6:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers tinker with struggling power play

VOORHEES, N.J. -- After having 28 shots blocked in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers, including nine during five power plays, the Philadelphia Flyers spent a large portion of practice Thursday working on puck movement in 5-on-4 situations.

The hope is that the extra work pays off in Game 4 on Friday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Coach Craig Berube opted not to change any of his personnel or base set-ups, but one noticeable strategic alteration on the top unit was forward Jakub Voracek having more pucks worked through him in his rover spot along the right side, rather than have everything flow through captain Claude Giroux along the half boards on the left side.

"It's more about puck movement and opening things up, doing things quicker," Berube said. "It's about execution. We had a lot of zone time on the power play but not enough executing pucks through to the net."

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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley