After coming away with a fantastic overtime victory against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday evening, the Rangers will be visiting the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.
Just 24 hours after securing their first win of the 2013 season, the New York Rangers will be right back at it against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers got some of their "jam" back in last night's game against the Boston Bruins, and we finally saw what the real Rangers can do. Hopefully we see that momentum carry over to tonight, as it's not going to be an easy one, even with a injury depleted Flyers lineup.
Let's breakdown what went right for the Rangers last night and how they can use it to their advantage tonight. Right from the puck drop, the Rangers went into aggressive forecheck mode, and had the Bruins defenders thinking quicker than they should be. As a result, they were able to control most of the tempo in the first period, and came away with two goals to boot. The passing was also leaps and bounds better than it was on Sunday. Passes were connecting and there weren't any blind passes to the opposing team.
Although they did breakdown in their defensive zone several times throughout the final 40 minutes, the Rangers were able to weather the storm. They were blocking shots and playing inspired hockey once again. Even though it wasn't pretty, the Rangers were finally starting to look like they did last season.
Some Quick Thoughts:
*** The Philadelphia Flyers will be without Scott Hartnell, Brayden Schenn, and Danny Briere tonight, but that doesn't mean the Rangers can take this one lightly. The Flyers have yet to win a game this season and will definitely be playing some desperate hockey, especially since it's against the Rangers. A lot of people are expecting this one to be a walk in the park, but this game has trap written all over it. I'm not saying the Rangers aren't capable of taking away two points, they just need to stick to their game plan.
*** It sounds as if Henrik Lundqvist will get the nod tonight against Philadelphia. While he is taking on quite a heavy work load thus far, it can only help him in the end. Before the season began Lundqvist admitted his game wasn't at where he would like it to be with the lack of a full training camp and exhibition games. He'll need all the time he can get in order to get back to the level he was at last year.
*** Based on this mornings optional skate, there is talk of Chris Kreider being scratched for tonight's game. Kreider hasn't been playing inspired hockey since the season began, and the Rangers want to do what's best for his development. It also sounds if Stu Bickel will be the lucky recipient of his roster spot if Kreider is indeed scratched. I don't have a problem with Tortorella scratching Kreider due to lack of poor play, but I do have a problem with Stu Bickel being his replacement. Why not call up Benn Ferriero and give him a look?
Rick Nash - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Taylor Pyatt - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Brian Boyle - Chris Kreider
Mike Rupp - Jeff Halpern - Kris Newbury
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Steve Eminger
Scratches: Matt Gilroy, Arron Asham (groin strain)