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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 4:44 PM

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

Rangers seek more special-teams success in Game 2

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers were able to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Philadelphia Flyers with a penalty kill followed by two power-play goals 47 seconds apart.

Heading into Game 2 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS), the Rangers know that continuing that success on special teams would likely swing the best-of-7 series in their favor.

Following a successful kill of Ryan McDonagh's high-sticking penalty early in the third period, New York scored twice after Philadelphia forward Jason Akeson was assessed a four-minute penalty for a high stick. The sequence decided the 4-1 win.

"You look at all the series right now, power play and penalty killing are always big deciders of momentum during the game," New York coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Saturday. "The last game, our penalty kill gave us that big kill at the beginning of the third against a really good power play and then our power play was able to get us those two quick goals."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:20 PM

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

Flyers goalie Mason not ready to return for Game 2

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will not play in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

Mason participated in a full practice Saturday but hunched over repeatedly near the end of the skate and appeared to be experiencing some discomfort.

"For the most part, I felt pretty solid. I'm getting better every day but I won't be playing tomorrow," Mason said. "With the last 10 minutes in practice, what's bothering me wasn't feeling very good. We decided we need to give it more time before I get back in there."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 3:11 PM

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

Rangers see Game 1 win as 'only one step'

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- By the time some New York Rangers assembled for an optional skate Friday, they had already forgotten about their 4-1 win Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Rangers are looking ahead to Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, which they'll host Sunday at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

"It's a good first step. It's only one step," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We know that our opponent on Sunday morning is going to be ready. We're going to need to be prepared and we're going to need to be better. We're very aware of that."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 1:26 PM

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

Flyers' Mason skates, but questionable for Game 2

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason was on the ice with teammates at an optional practice Friday but his availability for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Sunday (Noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS) remains unknown.

Mason has not played since sustaining an upper-body injury Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and his hour-long session Friday was the first time he skated with teammates since Tuesday.

"Felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days," Mason said. "It was a good step."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:48 PM

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

Rangers riding consistency, depth into postseason

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Flyers have lived up to their billing as the Broad Street Bullies for decades. As the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, what exactly is the identity of the New York Rangers, who the Flyers meet Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) at Madison Square Garden?

Alain Vigneault has reshaped that identity since replacing John Tortorella as coach last summer, turning the Rangers into a team reliant on depth and chemistry at every position. That refusal to alter his lines and insistence on rolling four forward combinations and six defensemen keyed New York's run to the postseason and could be the difference against Philadelphia.

"That was the game plan in an Olympic year with having the Olympians go and the tightened schedule, especially down the stretch in March," forward Brad Richards said. "There was a reason why we were able to play good hockey, and I think that everybody was spread out and had responsibilities and we weren't [running] on fumes coming in."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:32 PM

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

Flyers' Raffl, Akeson eager to make playoff debuts

NEW YORK -- Growing up in Austria, Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl said he tried to follow the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but with the time difference it was difficult. His teammate, forward Jason Akeson, had easier access to the NHL as a child in Ottawa.

On Thursday they will find out what the NHL postseason is really like when the Flyers face the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG).

"It's great," Raffl said. "I feel like a child before Christmas. Just want to get out there."

Raffl had 68 regular-season games to acclimate himself to life and hockey in North America, but said he's sensed things have changed now that the postseason has started.

"You feel it," he said. "It's something special, like a new season starting."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:22 PM

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

Flyers' top line ready for Rangers' defensive pressure

NEW YORK -- One of the more interesting games within the game will come when the Philadelphia Flyers deploy their top line of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek against the New York Rangers' top defense pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.

With Game 1 of the First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have the advantage of having the last change.

Said Hartnell on what he's learned from four regular-season games against McDonagh and Girardi: "How good they are, especially here."

In four games against the Flyers this season, McDonagh had one goal, one assist and a plus-2 rating, while Girardi had no points and an even plus/minus rating.

"We have to get it behind them, make them go 200 feet, be physical on them every chance you get," Hartnell said. "In a seven-game series that's wear and tear on them. If we're not turning pucks over, especially our line, against those two guys we'll be fairly effective."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:06 PM

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

Rangers know controlling emotions will be important

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers admitted they were already feeling the emotions that typically come with the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But it's reigning in those emotions that could prove key as they open their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

With intensity running high in the postseason, avoiding costly penalties is imperative to any team's success. It could be especially true against the Flyers, who led the NHL in penalty minutes this season.

If their previous games are any indication, the first Flyers-Rangers playoff series in 17 years should be a physical affair. In their four regular-season games, New York and Philadelphia combined for 231 penalty minutes. Former Flyer and current Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo drew 27 penalty minutes in two games.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 12:32 PM

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

Mason to join Flyers in New York on Friday

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will join the team here Friday, according to coach Craig Berube.

Mason was ruled out of Game 1 of the Flyers' Eastern Conference First Round series Thursday against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) due to an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game 2 is Sunday (Noon ET, NBC, TSN, RDS).

"He is doing better [Thursday] and he'll be joining the hockey team," Berube said.


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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 4:00 PM

NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers' McDonagh previews Flyers

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