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Blueshirts Face Flyers in Holiday Matinee

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

After all the food, pie and football, the Rangers return to action Friday afternoon for a matchup with the Flyers in Philadelphia.

The Rangers are coming off a disappointing loss Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. The players and head coach Alain Vigneault said the team had to learn from the lopsided 6-1 defeat Wednesday and look for a big rebound against another talented inter-division rival.


Who will be in goal for the Rangers later today in the City of Brotherly Love is still unknown. Henrik Lundqvist started - and took the loss -Wednesday night and allowed four goals before getting pulled midway through the second period. Antti Raanta came in relief and allowed two goals himself.

Lundqvist is 31-13-4 lifetime against the Flyers with a .919 SV% and four shutouts, while Raanta holds a 2-1-1 record with a .947 SV% in four starts against Philadelphia for his career.

Rick Nash, the Rangers' lone goal scorer Wednesday night, has had great success against the Flyers since becoming a Blueshirt prior to the 2012-13 season, notching seven goals and 12 points in 15 games.

Forward Matt Puempel could make his Rangers debut Friday after the team claimed him off waivers from Ottawa on Monday. He took part in Wednesday's morning skate and practiced with the team Thursday afternoon.

The Flyers enter the game playing .500 hockey in the month of November, going 5-4-2 in their last 11 games. Philadelphia is coming off a 4-2 loss Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning that was preceded by a 3-1 win over the Panthers in Florida.

Philadelphia's leading scorer is Wayne Simmonds with 18 points, followed by Jakub Voracek and captain Claude Girioux who both have 17 points in 21 games. 

In fact, scoring goals has not been a problem for the Flyers this season, as their 67 tallies this season is second in the NHL behind the Rangers' 82 goals in 21 games.

The problem has been keeping pucks out of their net. Their 72 goals against is the most in the NHL this season. Just three players are a plus this year, with Giroux and Voracek both entering the game minus-9, the worst on the team.

Goaltender Steve Mason started both games in Florida this week and is 5-7-3 this year with a 3.04 GAA and a .893 SV%. Backup Michal Neuvirth is 4-2 but has a 3.54 GAA and a .859 SV% in nine games.

Friday's game is the first of four meetings between the two teams, and the first of two at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers have won the last three games against Philadelphia, and has at least a point in eight of the last 10 dating back to March 26, 2014, gong 7-2-1 in that span.

Rangers at Flyers

1 pm at Wells Fargo Center

Watch live on NBC

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