It’s a Sunday afternoon match up when the
faltering Philadelphia Flyers take on the playoff chasing New York Rangers in what could be another mishap for the Flyers.
It’s the Broadway Blueshirts' last road game of the regular
season and lies ahead of three straight games at Madison Square Garden. There’s
no better preparation for a home based playoff push than an away win over the
team on top of the Eastern Conference. What’s more a win over Philadelphia
would see the New York Rangers tie their team record of 24 road victories, set by the
1993-94 Stanley Cup championship team.
Good time to take on the Flyers, especially in Philadelphia.
Despite the difference in the standings, this game is far
from an easy pick, the Flyers' have recently been struggling at home, and their
last five at the Wells Fargo Center reads 0-2-3. That’s no win since beating
the (frankly rubbish) Oilers there on March 8. They have lost their last two
games (to Atlanta at home and New Jersey away), and what’s more they only
managed two wins from their last seven.
"We keep talking about being the
top team in the league but we haven't played that way," Philadelphia
defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "For sure we want to be the top team in the
East, but right now we have to worry about ourselves and get our game in order.
These four (remaining) games are huge for us. Going into the playoffs, we have
to get our game back on track."
If home form isn’t enough to worry the Philadelphia Flyers’ fans, they last
time these teams met New York clocked up a 7-0 win over Philadelphia last
month. Ranger Ryan Callahan was man of the night as he managed a career-best
four goals and five points in that impressive victory.
I’m sure the Rangers
would settle for a performance half as good that one, "This one was a team
effort," said Henrik Lundqvist, after the 7-0 whitewash, (that saw him
make 24 saves for his ninth shutout), "It felt like a playoff game in the
first half. We need to build on this” The Rangers will also be smarting after
their 6-2-derby loss at the hands of the Islanders. One thing the Rangers have
done very well this season is bounce back from big losses with big wins.
Plenty at stake
The Flyers are desperate to stay ahead of the Capitals,
their lead is now down to a single point (although the teams are tied on 78
games) the Rangers’ position as 8th in the Eastern Conference is even less
secure as they are just two points ahead of Carolina, but the Hurricanes have
that all important game in hand. When a team with everything to lose meets a
team with everything to gain, expect a fired up and exciting match.
The NHL odds with the sportsbooks are ebbing and flowing for this
match so keep an eye on the SBR forum to stay up to date with the best odds. As
for the picks I’m backing a high scoring and furious game, with a busy busy
busy third period. Get your hard earned on a Rangers win and the game going
Prediction: Rangers 4 Flyers 3