NHL Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Flyers (2-4-0) at Rangers (2-3-0), 7 p.m., CSN
Madison Square Garden
Back on January 24th, the Philadelphia Flyers won their first game of the 2013 season in impressive fashion over the New York Rangers. On Tuesday evening in Madison Square Garden, they look to do it again. During the first meeting between these two Eastern Conference rivals, the Flyers played very inspiring hockey. Injuries were against them (as usual) but they pushed through and received their first win of the season.
Philadelphia may get one of their enforces back for this bitter rivalry. Zac Rinaldo was seen participating during the team’s morning skate for the first time since being cut by a skate. However, CSN reports that Rinaldo isn’t sure whether or not he will play. If he does, he will replace either Tom Sestito or red hot rookie Tye McGinn.
Defenseman Andreas Lilja may also see action tonight, potentially replacing Kurtis Foster on the blue line. Lilja was called up from the AHL to fill the absence of Andrej Meszaros, who will miss about a month with a left shoulder injury.
After getting the night off on Sunday, Ilya Bryzgalov will be back between the pipes for tonight’s game. He will go one-on-one against (in my eyes) the best goaltender in the league, Henrik Lundqvist. When these two teams last squared off, Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the game all night, otherwise being dominated. Meanwhile, Bryzgalov, though always in the spotlight, has been absolutely stellar this year.
In order to win, Philadelphia must obviously contain the big guns of New York. Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash were all non-factors during the first meeting, which is an extremely rare occasion. The Flyers must do everything in their power to see that it somehow happens again.
This time around, veteran Danny Briere will be in the lineup after returning from a wrist injury. He is a crucial part of this team, providing veteran leadership, keeping plays alive behind the net and making those around him better. Not to mention the added depth he brings to a depleted roster. Briere will be taking faceoffs tonight, which means he is getting closer and closer to 100 percent.
The Flyers look to bounce back from an up and down weekend in Florida tonight at 7 p.m.