The Philadelphia Flyers play their first home game since Dec. 21 when the New York Rangers come to Wells Fargo Center for the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).
The Flyers come into the game looking for their first win in two weeks after losing four in a row on the road, including 0-2-1 after Christmas.
The Rangers finished 2016 with back-to-back road wins against the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche but began 2017 with a 4-1 home loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
These Metropolitan Division rivals are separated by less than 100 miles, and there's never been any love lost between them.
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The Rangers scored six goals in each of their two road victories, only to come up with a clunker when they returned to Madison Square Garden. They'll be eager for a solid effort against a division rival to put the loss to the Sabres behind them, especially after failing to get a shot on goal for the first 15 minutes of the third period. Every team has a bad night now and then; the Rangers want to make sure that their showing Tuesday doesn't turn into a losing streak.
"Hopefully, this is a lesson learned and a hard turning point for us here," captain Ryan McDonagh said.
Stars must shine for Flyers
The trip-ending 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday had to be one of the most frustrating of the season for the Flyers. They bombarded Ducks goaltenders John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier with 55 shots, the most by any team in a game this season, and limited Anaheim to 25. None of that mattered when the Flyers came up a goal short in the shootout. Philadelphia needs more from two of its big guns: Jakub Voracek has no points in the past four games, and Claude Giroux has no goals and one assist.
Video: PHI@ANA: Couturier finishes Read's tip-in chance
Looking behind them
The Flyers have looked to be in good shape to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since they won 10 games in a row. But they are 1-4-2 since the streak ended with a 3-1 loss at the Dallas Stars on Dec. 17, and though Philadelphia holds the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, some of the teams behind them have gotten a lot closer in the past couple of weeks. Also, six of the eight teams behind them have games in hand, meaning that the Flyers are running out of cushion unless they start winning again.
There's an old adage in hockey that the first home game after a road trip can be tough to win; just ask the Rangers, who showed little at home Tuesday after two dominant road wins out West. The Flyers lost 4-0 loss at the New Jersey Devils in their last game before Christmas and were 0-2-1 in three road games against Western Conference teams, ending Sunday with the shootout loss to the Ducks. The Flyers can't afford to let another two points get away.
The Rangers held off the Flyers 3-2 on Nov. 25 in the first game between the teams this season. New York has won four in a row and eight of the past 11 against Philadelphia, including three in a row at Wells Fargo Center. With the remaining two games between the teams at Madison Square Garden, the Flyers need to prove to themselves that they can win against a team that has dominated them in recent years.
Video: NYR@PHI: Lundqvist stones Flyers in closing seconds