Rangers vs Flyers by 20Legend
New York Rangers (31-18-6) was looking to take their fifth straight win when they welcomed LA Kings (4-5 after OT), but they did not manage to do so. They went down 0-2 midway into the first period, but got back with 1-2 which gave them some hope for the next period. They started the second half by turning the game around with two early goals, and this time it was LA Kings who equalized shortly after making it 3-3 before heading into the last period. The match was very close within the two first periods as both teams had 11-11 and 10-10 in shots on goal, but the last period belonged to the guests. LA Kings outshouted NY Rangers by 4-11 on the stat sheet, but it was NY Rangers that was effective enough and took the lead with less than five minutes to go. However, LA Kings’ shooting bonanza paid off with 30 seconds to go as Anze Kopitar made it 4-4 and the game went into overtime. It was a rather close call again, but LA Kings got the goal 03:10 into the OT. Goaltender Henrik Lundquist will get the start and build on his 27 wins this season. He has a 2.32 goal-against average and a .923 save percentage so far.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh is nearing a return after being out with a concussion for three games in a row. He was injured in the last meeting against tonight’s opponent on February 6th, and he will miss out today as well. The forward Rick Nash has missed eight games with a bruised bone and will also be out tonight. However, defender Dan Girardi and forward Derick Brassard are expected to play in this match.
Philadelphia Flyers (24-20-10) did not manage to build on the momentum they got with their 5-1 win against Buffalo Sabers two matches ago. It was looking bad for a long time in the regular time as New Jersey Devils kept on to their 0-1 lead from the first period. However, the NHL rookie sensation Gostisbehere was able to finish off a goal assisted by Giroux early into the third period. The Flyers was not good in the first period, but slightly build momentum in the remaining two periods and they won the shot on goal by 32-24. However, the match went into overtime where New Jersy Devils to advantage of a power play almost three minutes into the extra time. That result was The Flyers’ fourth loss from the last five matches. They have to turn things around quickly at this time of the season as they are fighting in order to reach the playoffs. With two points lost they are five points behind Pittsburgh Penguins in Eastern Conference for the last playoff-spot. Goaltender Steve Mason will get the start in this match with a 2.65 goal-against average and a .917 save percentage. He will look to build on his last appearance in the win against Buffalo Sabers.
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto is out with an upper-body injury which has resulted in Andrew MacDonald has been recalled from AHL as a substitute. Sean Coutuier will also be missing.
This should be a tough matchup for the guests as New York Rangers has been rock solid in Madison Square Garden this season. Lundquist has 1.73 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in his last twelve starts since January 11th. Steve Mason made 41 saves against Buffalo Sabers and should also be looking to build on that performance. I expect a game under 5.5 goals tonight.