In what could be Kris Knoblauch’s swan song as New York’s acting head coach, the Rangers are back in action to take on Alain Vigneault’s Flyers once again. After letting the Flyers get the better of them in the season series last season to the tune of a 3-0 sweep, the Rangers have dominated this year’s series. Although they’ve only won three of the five meetings thus far, the Blueshirts have outscored the Flyers 26-14, with that margin being 17-3 over the last two meetings.
Thursday’s win vaulted New York past Philadelphia into fifth place in the MassMutual East Division, and the Rangers would like to keep that position with another win this afternoon. With the season more than halfway done and the trade deadline rapidly approaching, today’s contest will go a long way towards determining what direction these teams go with regards to their pending free agents.
Player to Watch: Mika Zibanejad
In each of the previous two games against Philadelphia, the Rangers’ star center has recorded three goals and three assist, with both of his hat tricks being of the natural variety. After bring unable to buy a goal through the early portion of the season, Zibanejad’s recent outburst has him at a 10-16-26 stat line through 32 games.
That puts him on pace for 26 goals 41 assists, and 67 points over a full 82 game season. Not quite the level he was at last year, but a respectable pace that should calm residents of Rangerstown down. Look for another strong performance out of him today.
Enjoy the game!