New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers: Open Game Thread

Let the fun begin. The New York Rangers are hanging on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by just a single point after watching the Carolina Hurricanes close in on them with a win on Saturday against the Islanders. The Buffalo Sabres also took the Washington Capitals to overtime last night but lost, which means they also gained a point to pull ahead of the Rangers in seventh. To make things even more interesting, after the Rangers face-off with the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, Buffalo and Carolina will go head-to-head against each other in yet another game that is out of the Rangers' control but will still affect them in the standings.

All of this makes today's matinee against the Flyers that much more important. The Rangers have played Philadelphia five times so far this season and have only been able to beat them once. That one win came about a month ago when the Blueshirts dominated Philly in a 7-0 victory at Madison Square Garden. Now you can dwell on the past all you want, but the truth is that it all means squat this afternoon. The past is the past and the Rangers have to focus on their future, because right now it isn't guaranteed. The Rangers need points in this game otherwise they will be in severe danger of dropping out of the playoff picture. It's as simple as that.