(SportsNetwork.com) – The Philadelphia Flyers will try to break out of a
recent slump when they host the rival New York Rangers in Friday’s matinee
battle at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have lost six of their last seven games, but hope to return to the
win column this afternoon when the club opens a home-and-home series against a
Metropolitan Division foe.
The Rangers, who will host Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, have won three
of four and six of the past nine overall meetings in this series. The Flyers,
however, have claimed three straight and four of the past five encounters in
the City of Brotherly Love. The clubs recently met on Nov. 19 in New York and
Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot shut out the Flyers in the 2-0 triumph.
New York also won a playoff series against Philly last spring, taking the
opening-round matchup in seven games before making it all the way to the
Stanley Cup Finals.
The Flyers have gone 0-1-1 in a pair of road games since picking up a home win
Saturday against Columbus. Philadelphia was blanked 1-0 in Monday’s shootout
loss to the New York Islanders and then dropped a 5-2 decision Wednesday night
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice to help the Red Wings breeze to the victory over
the Flyers. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek tallied for the Flyers, who fell
to 1-5-1 since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 4-8.
Steve Mason took the loss, charged with three goals on 14 shots over 31-plus
minutes. Ray Emery subbed for the remainder of the game and made nine stops.
“It’s pretty easy to see things slipping away, to see points that are up for
grabs and other teams are grabbing them and you’re not and you’re falling
behind,” said Mason.
The Flyers fell to 2-7-1 on the road, but Craig Berube’s club is 6-3-2 at
New York will try to get back on track after having a two-game win streak
halted Wednesday in Tampa. The Lightning spoiled Martin St. Louis’ return to
Central Florida, as ex-Ranger Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist to
help the Bolts record a 4-3 victory at Amalie Arena.
The pre-game buildup was solely centered on St. Louis’ first game in Tampa
since the Lightning’s all-time leading scorer requested and was granted a
trade to the Rangers on March 5. However, it was Callahan — the key player
Tampa Bay received in the blockbuster swap — who earned the night’s First
Star as St. Louis was held off the scoresheet.
Callahan also had two goals in his return to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 17,
keying a 5-1 rout of the Rangers.
New York entered the anticipated matchup off shutout wins over Philadelphia
and Montreal, but Henrik Lundqvist stopped just 25-of-29 shots in the loss.
Rick Nash recorded a goal and an assist for the Rangers, with Mats Zuccarello
and Dan Boyle also scoring in defeat.
Talbot, who hasn’t played since beating the Flyers last week, will get the
start in net today. He is 1-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA in his career versus Philly.
Mason is 4-2-1 with a 2.45 GAA in his career against the Blueshirts, while
Emery boasts a lifetime 7-2-0 record and a stout 1.87 GAA in this series.