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Preview: Flyers at Rangers

Philadelphia looks to stay alive in wild-card race; New York tries to end eight-game home losing streak

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

FLYERS (38-32-8) at RANGERS (46-26-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

Flyers team scope

The Philadelphia Flyers have won four in a row and are seven points behind the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They would be eliminated from playoff contention if they fail to gain at least one point. Goalie Michal Neuvirth is unavailable after he collapsed 7:37 into a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and had to be taken to a hospital. The Flyers said Neuvirth was released from Pennsylvania Hospital and will be re-evaluated Monday. Anthony Stolarz replaced Neuvirth and made 26 saves to complete the shutout after he was recalled on an emergency basis from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League before the game because Steve Mason was unavailable (illness). Mason will join the team prior to the game, Hextall said. Defenseman Radko Gudas sustained an upper-body injury in the third period Saturday and was helped off the ice. He is day to day and will be replaced by Nick Schultz.

 

Rangers team scope

The New York Rangers have lost eight games in a row at home (0-5-3), including 4-3 in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, and are looking for their first win at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 19. New York, which is seven points behind the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division with four games remaining, will be without captain Ryan McDonagh for a second straight game. He is day to day with an undisclosed injury, coach Alain Vigneault said, and hasn't been on the ice with the team since Tuesday, when he played 25:34 in a 5-4 overtime loss at the San Jose Sharks. Vigneault said McDonagh has been dealing with a lingering injury, but there is no reason to rush him back because the Rangers aren't likely to move out of the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "He'll come back when he's 100 percent," Vigneault said. "He's real close to being 100 percent but considering our situation right now he's going to take the time." Henrik Lundqvist will make his fourth straight start. He made 32 saves on 35 shots against Pittsburgh.

 

Flyers projected lineup

Travis Konecny -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal -- Valtteri Filppula -- Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Colin McDonald

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Michael Del Zotto -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Nick Schultz -- Brandon Manning

Anthony Stolarz

Steve Mason

Scratched: Mike Vecchione, Roman Lyubimov

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion), Michael Raffl (lower body), Matt Read (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (undisclosed), Radko Gudas (upper body)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello

J.T. Miller -- Mika Zibanejad -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- Jimmy Vesey

Tanner Glass -- Oscar Lindberg -- Jesper Fast

Marc Staal -- Kevin Klein

Brady Skjei -- Dan Girardi

Brendan Smith -- Nick Holden

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Steven Kampfer, Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel, Adam Clendening

Injured: Ryan McDonagh (undisclosed)

 

Status report

Vesey will play after being scratched for the first time this season against the Penguins. Glass returns after being scratched for the past four games. They will replace Buchnevich and Puempel. Miller will start on a line with Zibanejad and Nash after finishing the game against the Penguins with them. He previously was playing on the fourth line with Lindberg and Puempel. "Pittsburgh is a high pinching team and when we moved J.T. there [with Zibanejad and Nash] I thought that line was a little bit more effective, Vigneault said. "Tonight against another team that is heavy on pinches and hard on forechecks we'll need them to be strong on the wall and hope that line will be able to do that."

 

Who's hot

Weal, Schenn and Gostisbehere each have points in four straight games. Weal has a goal in each of the past four games. Gostisbehere has an assist in each of the past four. … Miller has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past two games. Nash has five goals in his past six games.

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