GAME: New York Rangers (25-38-7-8) at Philadelphia Flyers (39-19-14-6).
TIME: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. EST.
The Philadelphia Flyers hope to get back a star center for the second
straight game, with Keith Primeau possibly returning as the team goes for its
first season sweep of the New York Rangers in 19 years.
Philadelphia is 5-0 against New York this season, and can sweep the six-game
season series from the Rangers with a win Saturday. The last time the Flyers
went unbeaten against the Rangers was in the 1984-85 season, when they won all
Primeau, who hasn't played since Feb. 12 because of a concussion, had hoped
to return to the lineup in Philadelphia's 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on
Thursday but was still experiencing symptoms early in the day. The Flyers
captain is hoping to play Saturday.
Flyers center Jeremy Roenick returned to the lineup Thursday after missing
19 games because of a broken jaw and a concussion, but registered only one shot
"I felt great," Roenick said. "My wind was a little short, so I tried to
take shorter shifts. (The protective cage) didn't bother me as much as I
thought it might."
John LeClair and Michal Handzus scored for Philadelphia, which had won two
in a row but fell three points behind Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Eastern
Philadelphia, which leads the NHL in power-play efficiency, was 0-for-5 with
the man advantage.
Mark Recchi had two assists in the game for the Flyers, with the second
being his 74th point of the season and 1,200th of his career, making him the
40th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
The Rangers lost 4-2 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Jaromir Jagr scored for New York to reach 30 goals for the 13th straight
season. Jagr scored 27 goals as a rookie for Pittsburgh in 1990-91, the only
time he failed to reach 30.
New York dropped its eighth straight (0-5-0-3). Counting overtime losses,
New York has been beaten a team-record 46 times this season.
"I don't really have much to say," Rangers forward Bobby Holik said. "We
have our own things to worry about. Whether it's Nashville or anybody else, we
don't find a way to win."
The Rangers have four games remaining before they close their seventh
consecutive season without a playoff appearance.
Captain Mark Messier sat out the second and final game of his NHL suspension
for spearing, and will be available for the Rangers on Saturday.
Rangers defenseman Thomas Pock earned an assist Thursday, giving him two
points in two games since he was signed out of the University of Massachusetts
STANDINGS (through March 25): Rangers - 65 points, 4th place, 33 PB,
Atlantic Division. Flyers - 98 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, 30 goals, 42 assists and 72 points; Dale
Purinton, 115 PIM. Flyers - Recchi, 26 goals, 48 assists and 74 points; Donald
Brashear, 210 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 25): Rangers - Power play: 13.7 percent (43 for
313), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.1 percent (295 for 373), 29th. Flyers -
Power play: 21.9 percent (64 for 292), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (282
for 335), 16th.
GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Mike Dunham (16-29-6, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA); Jamie McLennan
(12-12-3, 4, 2.32). Flyers - Robert Esche (21-9-6, 3, 1.93); Sean Burke (5-5-2,
SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 4-0.
LAST MEETING: March 20; Flyers, 3-0. At Philadelphia, Claude Lapointe and
Simon Gagne scored first-period goals for the Flyers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 12-18-4-4 on the road; Flyers - 24-9-3-3 at