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At the Rink: Flyers at Rangers

by Mike G. Morreale

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller, recalled from the American Hockey League on Friday, will be in the lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

Miller will replace Chris Kreider, who will be with his family this weekend following the death of his grandfather. Additionally, defenseman John Moore reenters the lineup in place of Dan Boyle, who woke up Saturday with flu-like symptoms, according to coach Alain Vigneault. Boyle is day-to-day.

Vigneault also informed the media that forward Tanner Glass, who was diagnosed with the mumps virus, will remain away from the team until Monday. At that time he will be considered day-to-day. All players on the team have or will receive vaccination shots.

"All people who came to Tampa Bay should get themselves checked out because you don't know what could happen," Vigneault warned the local reporters.

Miller, 21, has skated in three games with the Rangers and has seven shots. He has six goals and 15 points in 18 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack. He will be playing in his first game with the Rangers since Oct. 12.

The Rangers have posted consecutive shutouts against the Flyers this season. The most recent came Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia when Cam Talbot made 26 saves for his second shutout against the Flyers in 10 days; he had a 31-save performance in a 2-0 win at MSG on Nov. 19. The Flyers haven't scored on the Rangers in 121:53.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will get the start Saturday. Lundqvist is 27-13-3 with a 2.49 goals-against average, four shutouts and .916 save percentage in 45 career games against Philadelphia.

The Rangers top defense pair of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi completely shut down Philadelphia's go-to line of Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek on Friday, limiting the trio to just two shots over 60 minutes. If the Flyers are to have any measure of success Saturday, that line will need to do more.

"I'm not happy at this point," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said after the loss Friday. "I'm not happy with our record (8-11-3). I'm not happy with our overall performance. I think a big part of it is the consistency part. You can't play 40 minutes and [Friday] I do feel like there was a frustration level there that we need to learn to deal with better as a group."

The Rangers are 15-4-0 in the past 19 regular-season games against the Flyers, dating back to March 6, 2011. The team has allowed two or fewer goals in 16 of those games and has outscored their Metropolitan Division rival 63-32.

The Flyers are mired in a 1-6-1 slump during which they have averaged 1.75 goals per game and allowed 3.12. Ray Emery, who is 7-2-0 with a 1.87 GAA, two shutouts and .936 save percentage in 10 career games against the Rangers, is the expected starter Saturday.

"Obviously the effort could be a little better, but I think the effort is not the issue right now," Giroux said. "I think it's the way we are playing as a team. We are just not playing together. We've got to do a better job of sticking together. [Coach Craig Berube] said it before, when they score a goal we need to start changing our game. We need to start playing better and we will soon. We just need to figure it out."

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