By Dominic Lancella on April 24, 2014
The best of seven series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers is heating up fast. Game 4 in Philly is a huge game for both teams, and whoever wins will come out with a momentum advantage. Here's five things you should know before Game 4 begins.
The Flyers have been badly outshot by the Rangers in all phases of the game. The Rangers have had 22 shots on power plays, while Philly has only had seven power play shots on net. Until Game 3, the Flyers were being dominated in even strength shots. The even strength total has New York outshooting Philly 70-62. Those numbers seem even, but that's after Philly outshot New York 28-17 at even strength in Game 3.
Martin St. Louis had just one goal and eight points in his 19 regular season games with the Rangers. Disappointing to say the least, but don't look now, St. Louis is getting hot at the most opportune time. He leads the Rangers in points this postseason with five points in three games, including two goals. A productive St. Louis makes New York's offense much more dangerous.
The Flyers gained a home-ice advantage when they took Game 2 in New York, but gave it right back with a home loss in Game 3. If Philly doesn't defend home-ice in Game 4, it could be curtains for the Flyers. A loss means a 3-1 series deficit. A team has been down 3-1 229 times in NHL history and only 20 times has a team comeback and won; that's a 8.7 percent success rate. Translation -- Game 4 is a must-win for the Flyers.
The Rangers set a franchise record in the regular season with 25 wins on the road, which is also after they started the season 3-6-0 on the road. They sure looked strong at Wells Fargo Center in Game 3, and they look to keep the ball rolling. The Rangers are 7-1-2 in their last 10 road games, dating back to Mar. 14.
Philly's starter Steve Mason hasn't started a game since Apr. 12, but will get the nod in Game 4. He definitely gives the Flyers a better chance to win than backup Ray Emery. Emery gave up 10 goals in his three playoff games this series. Mason will look to find a comfort zone after missing some time, and will go for his first career playoff victory.
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