-- While the festivities of Monday saw players from the New York Rangers
and Philadelphia Flyers
talking like old friends, the mood will be considerably different when they take the ice at the Wells Fargo Center for tonight's preseason game (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS).
It's the final game for the Rangers before they leave for their 10-day excursion to Europe. They'll play four preseason games in five days in four countries -- the Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland. They'll play their first two regular-season games in Stockholm, Oct. 7 against the Los Angeles Kings, and one night later they'll play the Anaheim Ducks.
"It makes it unique. It changes the scenery for you," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan
said of the trip. "Sometimes you're home playing preseason games and after Week 3 of playing preseason games you're like, 'Let's get the season going already.' We're going to change the scenery and we're going to get a chance to play some teams we've never played. I think it'll keep us fresh and keep us interested."
Goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist
and Martin Biron
are expected to split the game in net for the Rangers. Also expected to play Monday are defensemen Dan Girardi
and Tim Erixon
, and forwards Sean Avery
, Brandon Dubinsky
and Brian Boyle
This game also will mark the home debut of Jaromir Jagr
, who is returning to the NHL after three seasons playing in Russia. He had a goal and an assist in his first preseason game, Friday in Detroit.
likely will start in net for the Flyers, with Michael Leighton
backing him up. Among those also playing tonight are forwards James van Riemsdyk
, Claude Giroux
and Danny Briere
, and defensemen Kimmo Timonen
, Andrej Meszaros
and Braydon Coburn
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK