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Rangers-Flyers Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: New York Rangers (35-15-8) at Philadelphia Flyers (33-16-10).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers charged into the Olympic break with a six-game winning streak. In their first game after the break, the Rangers look for their longest winning streak in more than 12 years when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

After finishing 13th in the 15-team Eastern Conference in 2003-04, New York is first in its division this late in the season for the first time since 1995-96.

The Rangers' division lead is in jeopardy, though, with the second-place Flyers just two points behind.

New York defeated Philadelphia 4-3 on Feb. 4 during its current win streak, and has not won seven straight games since Oct. 30-Nov. 13, 1993.

The Rangers are outscoring their opponents 25-11 during the run and are 12-for-33 on power-play opportunities.

Jaromir Jagr scored two goals in New York's last game, a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 11. Jagr then helped the Czech Republic earn the bronze medal at the Olympics, scoring two goals and recording five assists in eight games.

Jagr has a five-game points streak with seven goals and five assists in that span. He also has a five-game points streak against the Flyers, with five goals and five assists in those games.

Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist helped lead Sweden to the gold medal, going 5-1 with a 2.33 goals-against average. He made 25 saves in the gold medal game.

Lundqvist is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts for New York with a 1.78 GAA and .934 save percentage.

New York has won five straight road games overall and has also won its last three visits to Philadelphia.

The Flyers lost in a shootout Wednesday to the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in their first game after the Olympic break.

United States Olympian Robert Esche made 31 stops for Philadelphia in his return to NHL ice.

Brian Savage scored the lone Flyers goal in the second period. Three of his seven goals this season have come in his last three games.

Peter Forsberg assisted on Savage's goal, despite not arriving back in Philadelphia until Tuesday after leading Sweden to the gold medal in Turin.

"I was tired, I'm not going to lie to you," said Forsberg. "Its been a hard couple of days coming over, and the time change and everything, but I thought I did my job. I played pretty safe in the first period and in the second and third I tried to score a couple of goals. Now I just have to get home and get some rest and get ready for Thursday."

Forsberg has an eight-game points streak against the Rangers, totaling three goals and 12 assists in those contests.

STANDINGS: Rangers - 78 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Flyers - 76 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, 40 goals and 88 points; Jagr and Martin Straka, 48 assists; Darius Kasparaitis, 81 PIM. Flyers - Simon Gagne, 37 goals; Forsberg, 48 assists; Forsberg and Gagne, 63 points; Donald Brashear, 75 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Rangers - Power play: 17.7 percent (57 for 322), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.0 percent (295 for 347), 5th. Flyers - Power play: 17.9 percent (61 for 340), 16th. Penalty killing: 79.6 percent (269 for 338), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Lundqvist (25-7-6, 2 SO, 2.09 GAA); Kevin Weekes (10-8-2, 0, 2.99). Flyers - Esche (15-6-4, 0, 3.06); Antero Niittymaki (18-10-6, 2, 2.95).


LAST MEETING: Feb. 4; Rangers 4-3 (OT). At Philadelphia, Jagr scored 1:24 into overtime, and Lundqvist made 26 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 16-9-3 on the road; Flyers - 16-8-6 at home.

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