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Deadlocked Rangers-Flyers series returns to MSG

by Adam Kimelman


(Best-of-7 series tied 2-2)


Big story: The New York Rangers got back to work Saturday and did their best to put their 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 behind them. After taking a 1-0 lead, New York squandered a chance to move one game from clinching their Eastern Conference First Round series.

"We let an opportunity slip away," Rangers forward Brian Boyle said. "I don't think there's any easy road to advancing, but if you have an opportunity to kind of take a commanding lead like that (3-1) you really have to focus on accomplishing that."

The Flyers are trying to put some of the events of Game 4 behind them, especially a start when they were outshot 16-6.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Defenseman Hal Gill may be 39 years old, but his passion for the game hasn't changed since he made his NHL debut during the 1997-98 season. It's what allowed him to play six regular-season games but remain a viable option to play Game 5 in place of injured Nicklas Grossmann.

"You're playing a game that you've loved and the only way to play it is with that passion you had when you were 7 years old, when you just have fun with it," Gill said.

Gill's positive attitude while not seeing a lot of playing time has his teammates happy the veteran likely will play Sunday.

"He's been in a great mood every day," captain Claude Giroux said. "He's pretty excited right now. It makes everybody happy. ... He keeps everybody loose, everybody relaxed. He's just a jokester, always talking. Even [Scott Hartnell] sometimes says we've got to put a mute [button] on this guy."

Rangers: New York held an optional practice Saturday. The Rangers' focus has to be improving a power play that went 0-for-4 in Game 4, including one shot during a 4-on-3 that started in the final seconds of the second period and carried into the third when they were trailing 2-1.

The Rangers went 3-for-12 on the power play in the first two games of the series at home, but were 0-for-8 in Games 3 and 4 on the road.

"We didn't get the job done [in Game 4]," forward Derick Brassard said. "We just need to move the puck faster. We need to shoot, and sometimes when you shoot a rebound is going to be there, and that's how we're going to score goals. Obviously it needs to be better."

Coach Alain Vigneault has maintained there are elements of the power play that have worked, but admits his players will need to do more if they hope to turn opportunities into goals.

"It's just a matter of execution," Vigneault said. "[If] our execution gets better we'll have better looks. It's more about how we're moving the puck than anything else. We had a good meeting about it [Saturday] and I'm confident the power play will be effective."

Who's hot: Flyers forward Jakub Voracek scored the winning goal in Game 4. It was his fourth Stanley Cup Playoff goal and second game-winner. Defenseman Luke Schenn had 78 shots on goal in 79 regular-season games but is tied for the team lead with eight shots. ... The Rangers' top line of Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash has combined for five goals and seven assists. St. Louis had two goals and three assists in the first three games.

Injury report: Flyers forward Steve Downie (upper body) and Grossmann (lower body) are out. ... Rangers forward Chris Kreider (hand) is out.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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