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Playing the first of back-to-back afternoon games, John Tortorella's Philadelphia Flyers (30-20-7) are home on Saturday to take on Peter Laviolette's New York Rangers (38-16-3). Game time at Wells Fargo Center is 3:00 p.m. ET.

The game will be nationally televised on ABC and streamed on ESPN+. The radio broadcast is on 97.5 The Fanatic with an online simulcast on Flyers Radio 24/7.

This is the second of four meetings this season between the traditional arch-rivals, and the final game in Philadelphia. The teams will rematch at Madison Square Garden on March 26 and April 11. On Black Friday, the visiting Rangers defeated the Flyers by a 3-1 score. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Chris Kreider tallied once. Sean Couturier notched the lone Flyers' goal.

The Flyers enter this game coming off a 3-1 road win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday evening. Philly is 5-1-1 since the All-Star break. The surging Rangers have won nine straight games. On Thursday, the Rangers thumped the New Jersey Devils in Newark by a 5-1 score. The Rangers have not lost a game since a 5-2 home defeat at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights on January 26.

Saturday's game marks the end of a light schedule for the Flyers over the last month: a weeklong hiatus through the NHL All-Star break and then just seven games from February 6 to 23. Starting with back-to-back games this weekened with the Rangers and Penguins the Flyers will play 17 games between Feb. 24 and March 30.

Here are five things to watch on Saturday afternoon:

1. Flyers Must Give Themselves a Chance

Taking away the middle of the ice is a must for competing against the Rangers. So, too, is puck management when bringing the puck through the neutral zone. When the Flyers last played the Rangers, the Flyers paid the price several times for puck management or coverage gaffes.

Somewhat akin to the Stadium Series game last Saturday, the Flyers gave up the game's first goal just 45 seconds after the opening faceoff in the Black Friday game. An offensive zone turnover started the issues. Rather than a breakaway (as happened in the Stadium Series), the Flyers coughed up a 2-on-1 that the Rangers turned into a quick lead.

New York took a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. The Flyers turned the puck over into the slot off a defensive zone faceoff and the Rangers' Kreider promptly deposited the puck into the net.

Later, the Rangers scored a 200-foot goal. New York won a defensive zone faceoff back behind their own net. The Rangers proceeded to beat the Flyers forecheck. The problem was compounded by a lack of F3 support and an overaggressive challenge at the blueline as New York exited the defensive zone. Now, the Rangers had a rush with speed through the neutral zone. Lastly, the Flyers took a poor backchecking angle and an open Zibanejad redirected a pass into the net.

Plain and simple: If the Flyers make similar mistakes in this game, securing a win will be unlikely. If they consistently force the Rangers to make plays to earn time and space on the ice, Philly will give themselves a fighting chance.

2. The Cates-Poehling-Hathaway Line

Do not be surprised if the trio of Noah Cates, Ryan Poehling and Garnet Hathaway sees frequent ice time when the Flyers are able to dictate line matchups. That line has been playing well in recent weeks, and was the only combination whose work Tortorella praised after the Chicago game.

"Games this time of year are a grind," Tortorella said. "I liked how that line checked north and got to the net."

Hathaway is not playing in the top nine to score goals. He's there to be a tone-setter with his phyiscal game (203 credited hits, second in the NHL) and checking. That said, he's been rewarded with "greasy" goals near the net in two of the last three games. Last time the Flyers played the Rangers, Hathaway tried to spark his team by fighting Barclay Goodrow early in the first period.

After the Chicago game, Hathaway was given the unofficial post-victory player of the game "dog mask" that the last recipient (Morgan Frost, from the Feb. 12 win against Arizona) awards to a teammate who had a key impact on a win. Hathaway has been a multi-occasion honoree this season.

Cates, whose attention to detail has made him a Tortorella favorite over his two seasons of coaching the team, has one goal and two assists since the All-Star break. Poehling's combination of size and speed have been a boon to the bottom six of the lineup and he's chipped in four points (2g, 2a) since the All-Star break.

3. Shot Supression

The Flyers allow the third-fewest shots per game (28.0) in the NHL this season. Philly is fourth in blocked shots per game (17.85) with defenseman Nick Seeler leading the way with an NHL leading 10.47 blocks per 60 minutes of ice tme and 168 blocked shots overall. Seeler also has 101 credited hits (6.29 per 60 minutes).

The Rangers are the NHL's eighth highest-scoring team (3.37 goals per game). They aren't necesarily a high-volume shooting team -- ranking 15th in the league in average shots per game (31.0) -- but they are efficient finishers (10.87 percent across all manpower situations).

The Flyers learned this lesson the hard way in the first meeting with New York this season. New York generated just 19 shots on for the game but seven were of the high-danger variety. Of those seven high-danger chances, three ended up in the Flyers' net. By contrast, Philly had 10 high-danger scoring chances but scored on only one (a Couturier low-slot deflection of a Seeler point shot after an offensive zone faceoff win).

No two games are identical, of course. Nevertheless, there are valuable lessons to be learned from how and where Philly came up short the last time they played the Rangers and what the Flyers must do to change the outcome this time.

4. Flyers Special Teams vs. Rangers Special Teams

The Flyers did not receive a power play opportunity in the Chicago game, although there were several fairly obvious infractions committed by the Blackhawks that went uncalled (especially during the early minutes of the third period). Philly was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

For the season, the Flyers rank second in the NHL on the penalty kill at an impressive 86.5 percent (opposing power play are 24-for-178). Philly still leads the NHL with 13 shorthanded goals: five by Konecny, three by Poehling, two by defenseman Sean Walker, and one apiece by Scott Laughton (who also has five shorthanded assists) and Hathaway.

Nevertheless, the Rangers are one of a small handful of teams against whom the Flyers need to be vigilant about keeping penalties to a bare minimum. The Rangers' power play checks in at 25.8 percent (46-for-178) on the season to rank in the league's top-five stratosphere. The New York power play has dipped a bit since the Christmas break (14-for-75, 18.7 percent over the last 25 games), but is still very dangerous.

The Flyers' power play had nowhere to go but up: 10.6 percent before the Christmas break, 17.1 percent since then. It's modestly trended the right way. Even so, Philly still ranks 31st for the season at 13.3 percent (24-for-180).

Of note: Dating back to the January 6 home win against Calgary -- a span of 19 games -- the Flyers are 20.7 percent (12-for-58) on the power play to rank 13th in the NHL in that span. Over the last 19 games, Frost is the Flyers leading power play producer with seven points (1 PPG, 6 PPA), followed by Joel Farabee (2 PPG, 3 PPA), Egor Zamula (1 PPG, 4 PPA), Owen Tippett (2 PPG, 2 PPA in 15 games played), Travis Konecny (1PPG, 2 PPA), Jamie Drysdale (1 PPG, 1 PPA) and Cam York (3 PPA).

The Rangers have been a strong PK team this season, checking in at 82.8 percent (opposing power plays are 28-for-163) and are the eighth least-penalized team in the NHL in terms of times shorthanded. Over the course of New York's current nine-game winning streak, the Rangers are 20-for-25 (80.0 percent) on the PK but have really been taking care of business at even strength.

New York has scored four shorthanded goals this season: two by Kreider and two by Zibanejad.

5. Behind Enemy Lines: New York Rangers

Speaking of Zibanejad, it's an absolute must for the Flyers to do a better job of preventing him from getting open chances in the slot or one-timers from the flank. Meeting after meeting, he's been a non-stop thorn in the Flyers' side in recent years.

For his career, the big Swedish center has racked up 18 goals (his most against any team) and 35 points versus the Flyers. Overall this season, Zibanejad is tied for second on the Rangers with 54 points (19g, 35a) in 56 games played.

As usual, superstar winger Artemi Panarin leads the Rangers in scoring: 32 goals, 46 assists, 78 points in 57 games. Along with Zibanejad, Kreider (29g, 25a) and center Vincent Trocheck (20g, 34a) have compiled 54 points to date.

Star offensive defenseman Adam Fox paces the New York blueline with 46 points (9g, 37a) in just 47 games played. The Flyers did not have to deal with Fox in the first meeting of the season -- he missed most of November with a lower-body injury -- but he's long since recovered.

New York opponents always have to be hyper-vigilant when hard-hitting Rangers shutdown defenseman Jacob Trouba (21:51 average ice time, 20 points) is on the ice. Philly has also been burned in the past by New York defenseman K'Andre Miller (seven goals, 21 points) joining the attack up ice and by ex-Flyers offensive-minded defenseman Erik Gustafsson (five goals, 26 points) making stretch passes to trigger rushes or creating chances up ice.

Former first-overall draft pick Alex Lefreniere is sixth on the Rangers with 35 points (16g, 19a) this season. He's coming off a two-goal game against the Devils. Exiting the Christmas, Lafraniere went through a month-long roughpatch in production, However, he's heated up again over the nine-game winning streak (5g, 3a, eight points).

In net, the Rangers boast one of the best in the business, despite a bit of a down season stat-wise: Igor Sheshterkin (24-12-1, 2.74 GAA, .907 save percentage, one shutout). Veteran goalie Jonathan Quick has appeared in 20 games (13-4-2, 2.36 GAA, .917 SV%, two shutouts).

Just as with the Flyers, the Rangers are in the midst of a stretch of three games in four nights. Shesterkin turned back 39 of 40 shots on Thursday against the Devils, denying New Jersey any sniff at a comeback bid in New York's 5-1 win. Jack Hughes broke up Sheshterkin's shutout bid with 2:07 remaining in the game.

After playing the Flyers on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers will face something of a "trap game" scenario, playing the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Sunday. Goaltending chores over the weekend will be split between the two New York netminders. Shesterkin stopped 36 of 37 shots the last time the Rangers faced the Flyers, but New York is just as comfortable right now with either Sheshterkin or Quick in net.

Final note: Unless the NHL issues a supplementary discipline rulling on Saturday prior to game time, the matinee tilt will officially be the first time that massive Rangers forward Matt Rempe (6-foot-7, 241 pounds) plays against the Flyers in his NHL career. However, he's already known to the Flyers from exhibitions, Rookie Games, and AHL meeting between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Hartford Wolf Pack.

In his three games with the Rangers thus far, Rempe has fought the Islanders' Matt Martin directly off a faceoff and was ejected from Thursday's game for a check to Devils' forward Nathan Bastian's head. If Rempe is not suspended by the NHL and if veteran Flyers tough guy Nicolas Deslauriers dresses for the game, it'd be a near lock that the two will tangle.