Finally! It's time for Game Two of the Rangers First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers will be looking to take hold of the steering wheel with a win today and jumping ahead to a 2-0 lead in the series, but I would expect we're going to see a Flyers team that plays with more discipline and energy this afternoon.
The deciding factors in Tuesday's game were the Rangers power play and the Flyers inability to get anything going in the offensive zone. Claude Giroux didn't register a shot in the game, the Flyers put just one shot on net in the third period, and the Rangers held them to just 15 shots in the game. The Flyers are going to need to play a hell of a lot better than they did on Thursday night and I expect that is just what they'll be doing this afternoon. There are too many veterans and warhorses in the Philly locker room for the Flyers to fall to pieces in two straight playoff games.
With all of that being said, the Rangers should imitate what they did on Thursday night just in case the Flyers come into this game as nervous and wobbly as a newborn giraffe still covered in birth goo near a pride of lions. Forecheck like crazy, put pressure on the Flyers defense, and draw penalties to get some work done on the power play. I expect this afternoon's game to be filled with plenty of nasty. Here's hoping that the scoreboard looks like it did at the end of Thursday night's game.
Mike's Player to Watch: Rick Nash
Rick Nash had a game-high 7 shots in Thursday's big win over the Flyers, he also registered a power play assist. Most of Nash's shots came from the perimeter and weren't really quality scoring chances, but he was still making things happen and had a great game. Thursday was Brad Richards' and Marty St. Louis' night, maybe Sunday afternoon will be Rick Nash's time to stand out and take over the game. Hopefully he'll be feeling confident after his stand-out performance on Thursday night.
LET'S GO RANGERS!