Rangers take on Flyers at the Garden; Stempniak out of the lineup
In an important matchup for both the Rangers (7-7-4) and the Flyers (7-7-2), the bitter rivalry between the two teams continues at 8 PM at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers have made two lineup changes following the loss to the Lightning on Monday. Cam Talbot will start in net, and will be searching for his first win of the season. He has struggled his starts this season, and has a 3.48 GAA and an .880 save percentage in four appearances.
Lee Stempniak will also be sitting for New York tonight with lower-back tightness. Stempniak was given a maintenance day at practice yesterday, and it is not expected to be out for an extended period of time. In 18 games, Stempniak has eight points (4-4-8). Jesper Fast will replace him in the lineup.
Despite earlier reports, Claude Giroux is expected to take the ice tonight for the Flyers. The Captain was previously listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury, but was cleared this evening and is said he will play through some pain. If he feels good after warmups, he will play.
Giroux is one of the better players on Philadelphia’s team, with 21 points (5-16-21), and he has been lethal on the power play this season, with nine points while on the man advantage.
Former Ranger Michael Del Zotto will be making his return to the Garden, after being traded to Nashville in the offseason for Kevin Klein. Del Zotto signed with the Flyers in the offseason, and has played well, picking up eight points (2-6-8) in the process.
The Rangers find themselves in a position where they need another bounce-back game, especially after their disheartening effort on Monday against the Lightning. The Rangers are winless in their last three games (0-1-2), and have only one win since November 8th.
The Flyers are on a two game skid after winning three in a row. With the Flyers only two points behind the Rangers in the standings, it will be an exciting and hard-fought battle on both sides.
This is the first game this season between these two teams, and the first of three meetings over the next 11 games. The Flyers have not won at Madison Square Garden in the regular season since 2011, and are 0-8-0 in that span. They did win Game 2 at MSG during last year’s playoffs.
The key player for the Flyers tonight is Jakub Voracek, who is tied for first place in the league with 26 points (7-19-26). He is riding a career-best 10 game point streak, in which he has picked up 19 points (5-14-19). Voracek is a lethal winger and the Rangers will need to keep an eye on him at all times.
For the Rangers, its alternate captain Martin St. Louis. The 39-year old right winger has been on a tear lately, scoring six goals in his last eight games, and earning a total of eight points (6-2-8) since November 3rd. During the playoffs, he also posted six points (2-4-6) in the series against the Flyers. St. Louis is five points shy of 1,000 in his NHL career.
St. Louis ranks third on the team in total points (7-7-14). He continues to solidify the top line for the Rangers, although Vigneault may switch up the lineup for tonight.
With both team’s searching for a win, tonight is set up to be a hard-fought battle between two longtime rivals. The puck drops at 8 PM at Madison Square Garden, and will be aired on NBC Sports Network.
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Anthony Duclair
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast
John Moore-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
Matt Hunwick-Kevin Klein
Posted on November 20, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Chris Mueller, Claude Giroux, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Lundqvist shutout, Jakub Voracek, Jesper Fast, John Moore, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, Philadelphia Flyers, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tanner Glass, The Duke, The Ranger Zone, Wayne Simmonds. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.