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New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers @NHLdotcom
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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 seven meetings.

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 on goal.

"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 Conference.

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 on Tuesday.

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, 0, 2.88).

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 home.

Associated Press
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