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Blueshirts look for more year-end success tonight

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM


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Blueshirts look for more year-end success tonight
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers

• Game Notes

Broadcast Note: Tonight's game will be televised on MSG2. Pregame coverage begins on MSG2 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for complete MSG2 channel listings.

Winners of four of their last five games -- including a hard-working 2-1 win on a snowy day in Philadelphia earlier this month -- the Rangers face off against the Flyers tonight at Madison Square Garden in their final home game of the 2009 calendar year.

The Rangers have not lost a calendar year-ending home game since 2002, going 4-0-1 since then. Just as they ended 2008 on a high note at home last year in beating the Islanders, they will look to make their Garden finale a special one against another divisional rival in the Flyers.

It won't come easily, however, because even though they rank below the Rangers in the standings, the Flyers have been gaining confidence during their current three-game winning streak. All three of Philadelphia's wins have come on the road, but The Garden has been rough on the Flyers, who have lost two straight at MSG.

The Blueshirts saw a four-game winning streak halted with a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Islanders on Saturday at MSG. Resurgent center Brandon Dubinsky scored twice in the third period -- including one with 46.6 seconds to play -- to give the Rangers an important point in the standings. They are tied with Atlanta for eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have three games in hand over Montreal, which is sitting in seventh.

Recent lineup changes have helped the Rangers get back on track, but the key to success has been goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, woh won the Dec. 19 game at Philadelphia with 36 saves, including 16 in the third period. Lundqvist has shut out the Flyers twice during his career, and both of those wins came at MSG. Overall the Rangers have won four straight games over Philadelphia, dating back to last spring. Lundqvist has started all four of those games, posting a 1.50 goals-against average.

Lineup changes will be in order again tonight without forward Vinny Prospal in the Rangers' lineup. Prospal underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and will be out for 10 days to two weeks. On Tuesday, Rangers head coach John Tortorella said that Christopher Higgins would be moving up to take Prospal's spot on the No. 1 line with Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik. He also said he expected that Ales Kotalik would see more ice time tonight.

Another player who could benefit from the extra ice-time is Erik Christensen, who has shown flashes of his high-scoring potential in limited duty since being claimed off waivers earlier this year.

"We have to try to instill in our players that you have to play an even better team game. And it gives opportunities to other people. Every team goes through this (injuries), so we've got to deal with it," said Tortorella. "... I always look at it when you lose a key guy, other people get opportunities, and when that key guy, I think your team becomes better because those people have had other opportunities, and hopefully they grow."

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 11 '10 NYR 1 at PHI 2 - SO C. Giroux
Apr 09 '10 PHI 3 at NYR 4 M. Gaborik
Mar 14 '10 PHI 1 at NYR 3 M. Rozsival
Jan 21 '10 NYR 0 at PHI 2 J. van Riemsdyk
Dec 30 '09 PHI 6 at NYR 0 B. Betts
Dec 19 '09 NYR 2 at PHI 1 A. Anisimov
M. Richards39161733+104971
J. Carter39141832-12854
C. Giroux3981826+91730
D. Briere32141125-63931
S. Hartnell3991524-25761
C. Pronger3951924+114920
J. van Riemsdyk3671320+21024
K. Timonen3931720+41801
M. Carle3921719+131400
B. Coburn385813-42810
S. Gagne155712+6820
D. Carcillo35358+610410
A. Asham32347-86001
I. Laperriere39167-38200
D. Powe23606-41200
B. Betts20415+5412
O. Bartulis25055-71400
M. Pyorala35224-21000
D. Laliberte11213+1601
R. Parent28022-51400
D. Syvret15022+11000
O. Tollefsen10022-11700
J. Kalinski10022-2000
A. Nodl10011-2000
R. Cote12000+01900
J. Ross3000-1000
R. Emery2111-8-1575742.83.901
M. Leighton125-4-0333053.13.892
B. Boucher164-10-1383882.66.902
M. Gaborik37262349+514122
V. Prospal3882432+22232
M. Del Zotto3951520-171831
R. Callahan3991019-113262
A. Kotalik3661319-173432
B. Dubinsky2661016+81801
A. Anisimov397815-31411
C. Drury345914-71200
M. Staal3941014+12601
S. Avery3441014+06821
D. Girardi394812-123201
M. Rozsival3911112+22400
C. Higgins384610-102000
E. Lisin344610-11000
M. Gilroy34426+32101
W. Redden32156-2800
B. Boyle37314-13301
P. Parenteau14134-6000
D. Byers5101+13100
D. Brashear29011-85800
A. Voros19011-43200
E. Christensen17000-3400
I. Heikkinen7000+2000
B. Sanguinetti5000+0400
H. Lundqvist3516-14-48310352.49.920
S. Valiquette62-3-0191283.74.852
C. Johnson10-0-03204.50.850 is the official Web site of the New York Rangers. New York Rangers is a trademark of MSG Holdings, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 MSG Holdings, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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