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Rangers Go For Fourth Straight Win Against Flyers

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The Rangers take their three-game winning streak into a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night at The Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 3-2 win Monday night over the Los Angeles Kings that saw Henrik Lundqvist make 36 saves to secure his 23rd victory of the season.

Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel and Mats Zuccarello scored, with Zuccarello snapping a 15-game goal drought.

Lundqvist was exceptional in the contest, especially in the first period when the Rangers were outshot 14-5. Lundqvist made two key saves on Jeff Carter, including one on a breakaway. The Rangers were outshot 38-17 overall.

Lundqvist will get the start Wednesday night against a Flyers team he's had great success against over the course of his career. Lundqvist is 33-13-4 with a .920 SV% and a 2.39 GAA with four shutouts against Philadelphia. More recently he is 7-0-1 in his last eight against the Metropolitan Division rival. 

Derek Stepan has been equally as hot against Philadelphia with 10 points in his last 10 games, and 29 points in 31 games in his career.

Wednesday marks the third of four meetings between the Rangers and Flyers this season, and the first of two at The Garden.

The Rangers won both games in Philadelphia this season, most recently earlier this month in a 5-2 decision. The Rangers have outscored the Flyers, 8-4, in the two games with Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes - who is out with an injury - each producing three points.

The Flyers have struggled since their 10-game winning streak ended in mid-December. In fact, the Flyers are just 4-9-3 over their last 16 games since the streak was snapped.

But the Flyers are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the Flyers Sunday in Brooklyn, which was their first road win since Dec. 14 in Colorado, which extended that streak to 10 straight.

Philadelphia's leading scorer this season is Jakub Voracek with 42 points in 48 games, followed by captain Claude Giroux's 39. Wayne Simmonds leads the team with 19 goals.

Despite those numbers, that trio is a combined minus-41 on the season, putting the spotlight on the Flyers' weakness this season: defense. In fact, no player on the Flyers' active roster is better than a minus-1 this year.

While the Flyers' 136 goals for this season ranks seventh in the Eastern Conference, they've allowed 154, the worst in the conference by 12.

Goaltender Steve Mason is 15-15-6 this season with a 2.92 GAA and a .899 SV%. He has one win in his last 10 starts dating back to December 22.

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