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Flyers - Rangers 4/3/2012 Rangers aim to complete season sweep of Flyers


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This article title ought to make you forget about the Pens, at least for tonight....

Rangers aim to complete season sweep of Flyers

Monday, 04.02.2012 / 2:32 PM

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

RANGERS (50-22-7) at FLYERS (46-24-9)

TV: MSG 2 (HD), CSN-PH (HD)

Last 10: New York 6-4-0; Philadelphia 6-2-2

Season series: The Rangers will go for the season sweep of their Atlantic Division rivals. In their most recent meeting, Ryan Callahan had a hat trick and Marian Gaborik had a goal and three assists in 5-2 win in Philadelphia.

Big Story: Can the Rangers continue their march toward the Eastern Conference title? Or will the Flyers finally be able to beat their northern rival and stay in the running for the fourth seed in the East?

Team Scope:

Rangers: As nice as it would be to finish the sweep of the Flyers, Rangers players said Monday their motivation is winning -- regardless of the opponent.

"We don't really pay attention to it," Mike Rupp told The (Bergen) Record of the Rangers' winning the first five games. "It's something more for them to pay attention to. Obviously, it's big that we’ve played well against them and gotten points."

"As for now, to us, that's in the past," Brian Boyle added. "To them, I'm sure it's motivation. They're trying to battle for home ice. They'll be obviously motivated in their building."

In all, the Rangers have won seven straight against the Flyers, a stretch that goes back to Feb. 20, 2011.

Flyers: After wearing a visor for his first three NHL seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, forward Wayne Simmonds took it off this season, his first with the Flyers. The result has been a career-best 27 goals, but it's also featured a pair of serious injuries -- twice he's been hit in the face by pucks.

When it happened Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, he returned wearing a visor out of necessity, but said he isn't sure he's going to keep it on or not.

"Obviously I'll wear the visor until the stitches come out," he said. "I'm not too sure I'm going to continue wearing it after that."

Simmonds may not have made a decision, but his mother certainly has. Simmonds said his mother was against him taking off the visor this season, and at one point called his agent to have him tell Simmonds to put on a visor.

"I don't think she’s too happy right now, but obviously that's my mother, she's not going to be happy with anything I do," Simmonds said. "She told me I should put on a full cage, but it's not college hockey, you can't play like that."

Who's Hot: Callahan has 4 goals in five games against the Flyers this season. … Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has goals in four straight games. He has 5 goals in that span.

Injury Report: Rangers defenseman Steve Eminger (ankle) and forward Mats Zuccarello (wrist) are out indefinitely. … Flyers center Danny Briere is out indefinitely with an upper-back contusion. Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann is out 7-10 days with a lower-body injury. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (foot) is day-to-day.

Stat Pack: The Flyers trailed 2-0 or worse in six of their last nine games, but they're 5-2-2 in that span.

Puck Drop: Why have the Flyers struggled so much against the Rangers? Simmonds has a pretty good idea.

"We have to play our game, and I think in the games that we've played them we only played about 40 minutes of the game and they played the full 60, and you're never going to win playing that way against that team," he said.

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Per Carchidi, Bryz goes tonight:

Ilya Bryzgalov, the NHL's player of the month, will return to the lineup and face the New York Rangers Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The 31-year-old goalie missed the last three games with a chip fracture in his right foot.

Coach Peter Laviolette said Bryzgalov is healthy and he wants him to regain his sharpness for the playoffs.

In two starts against the Rangers this season, Bryzgalov is 0-2 with a 4.11 goals-against average and .869 save percentage. (Henrik Lundqvist numbers vs. the Flyers this season: 5-0, 1.60 GAA, .947 save percentage.)

Bryzgalov, however, has turned around his season since last facing the Rangers. He went 10-2-1 with a 1.43 GAA and .947 save percentage in March.

Sergei Bobrovsky started the last three games, going 2-0-1 and allowing a total of eight goals.

Defenseman Andreas Lilja, who had been nursing an upper-body injury, will also return to the lineup after missing the last five games. Jody Shelley will play for the first time since March 18.

Briere update. Center Danny Briere, who usually excels in the post-season, said he continues to have back spasms. Briere said he hopes to be able to play when the playoffs start next week, but that there is not timetable.

Briere was injured on an open-ice hit by Pittsburgh's Joe Vitale on Sunday. The veteran center called the hit clean, but said Vitale "was obviously trying to hurt me."

Probable lines. Here are the expected Flyers lines for Tuesday:

1. Claude Giroux centering Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr.

2. Brayden Schenn centering Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds.

3. Sean Couturier centering Max Talbot and Jake Voracek.

4. Eric Wellwood centering Shelley and Zac Rinaldo.

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After a decently officiated period that wound up Rangers 4, Flyers 0, what instigated the referees to revert to form and start to fcuk over the Flyers at every turn??

Schenn boarding for missing his target and hitting the boards?!?

Simmonds for getting a stick in the mouth?

And the game changer, Talbot for getting high sticked and then roughed and HE gets the put in the box.

Bad refs, bad!

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@TedZep

I missed the first period, and am not one to outwardly complain about officiating (other than my inherent hatred for any sporting official) but that was about the worst called game i've seen in a long time, there were two wildly dangerous slashes from simmonds.... no call, a wonderful dive from timmonen that did get called, the schenn non boarding call, the high stick to simmonds grill and the talbot roughing you mentioned were complete head scratchers, as was the phantom Rangers penalty around the 5 minute mark in the 3rd..... were the calls that were made make ups from the calls that were missed...? that was atrocious .

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Rangers are a good team and I'm still praying for that 6th spot.....

You know, I was too, but now I think I'm more looking forward to a 7 game war with the Pens. Should be fun. And let's face it, the Flyers have the makings of a solid squad for years to come, I love how the young guys are coming along, but the D needs to be solidified over the summer before we're a serious contender....

And since this is a rags thread, I would just like to add that I hate that team like I hate cancer....and their a**hole fans, the two schmucks sitting behind me last night, getting arrested might have been worth knocking somebody out

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You know, I was too, but now I think I'm more looking forward to a 7 game war with the Pens. Should be fun. And let's face it, the Flyers have the makings of a solid squad for years to come, I love how the young guys are coming along, but the D needs to be solidified over the summer before we're a serious contender..

That's a fair statement. If you feel like this team can't make a run to the Stanley Cup then playing the Pens in the 1st round would be as entertaining as any playoff series in recent memory (hold maybe the 0-3 comeback against the Bruins). But think of it like this....

#1 Rangers vs #8 Sabres

#2 Bruins vs #7 Senators

#3 Panthers vs #6 Flyers

#4 Penguins vs #5 Devils

There is some talk about how the Sabres match up with against the Rangers. (1-3 in this years series so I'm not convinced myself but I do think the Sabres would have a better chance than the Caps).

If there is any upset with the Rangers or Bruins that would mean the second round would be either:

Sabres vs Bruins

Flyers vs Penguins

or

Senators vs Rangers

Flyers vs Penguins

If there are no upsets in the first round besides the Flyers beating the Panthers:

Flyers vs Rangers

Penguins vs Bruins

Now that is an great second round and really the way it should be. Losing 1 of those 4 teams in the first round would be a shame.

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Flyers 6th and Bruin/Rag loss in round one does set up some intriguing possibilties for a run as you point out. No doubt I'd rather have the Panthers in round one, I guess I've just resigned myself to the injustice inherent in the seeding system....and that sliding back to the sixth would have the Flyers moving in the wrong direction going into the real season

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Bryzgalov wasn't very sharp last night. I hope gets warmed up quick.

Meanwhile, Lundqvist is using the freaking force, knocking a puck out of the net from behind his head with his glove.

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I think it's time to acknowledge that the Rangers are just a better team... and by team I mean from top to bottom (goalie, skaters, defense and the head coach). Tim Sounders and Therien said last night on the air that they don't even have memory as to when was teh last time the Flyers were sweapt by the Atlantic Division team during the regular season. As much as it pains me to say that, but the Flyers cannot compete witht this team. They just can't. I attribute a lot of it to just the Rangers being so much better, but I also have to hold Laviolette responsible. When you keep losing to the same team over and over again, you *have* to at least make an effort to make adjustments.

But if there is a silver lining, I will say the Flyers are still missing very important pieces. Not having Grossmann and Briere really hurt last night... and I am not even mentioning Pronger, because for all intents and purposes he is not even a part of this team anymore.

Carle keeps having a frustrating season. He has some decent games, but he also at times looks lost, like he looked lost on the Rangers' first goal, from where it started free-sliding for the Flyers. I don't know if the guy is uncoachable or the coaches simply do a terrible job with him. And Bryzgalov looked like the Bryzgalov who was cursed and hated two months ago, instead of the Bryzgalov who had a great month of March. One can only wonder what kind of Bryzgalov is going to show up in the playoffs.

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And since this is a rags thread, I would just like to add that I hate that team like I hate cancer....and their a**hole fans, the two schmucks sitting behind me last night, getting arrested might have been worth knocking somebody out

AdamFlyers and I were lucky that the Rags fan in our row last night was very respectful and kept his head down like a good opposing fan and was very subdued in his rooting. The thing that PISSED me off the most was that steaming heap of crap up in the suites above us all. What a guttless spineless yellowbellied group that was. All safe in their suite they taunted and taunted us all night. I was screaming at them to come down and try that among the masses. Others flipped them the bird. The only thing we could really do was drown out their chants and even that was tough becasue most at the WFC have no idea how to properly sing the Lets go Flyers chant and it ended up souding like the idiot Rangers chant. Some projectiles were tossed up at them too but they kept hitting the wall before reaching their intended target. It was a good try....but seriously what a bunch of cowarldy cowards.

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@Poulin20

Oh man you were right next to that crap? Yeah big tough guys, take your VIP elevator to the luxury box and act a fool, knowing you'll never have to answer for your a**holery. I'm downstairs, sounds like right below you, I could hear you guys fighting the good fight. Honestly I wish I was still upstairs with the REAL fans (used to be in 211 here and sec 28 at the Spectrum), but dad can't do heights anymore and at his age I don't blame him.

And I know what you mean about the cheer, it started to dilute when the new building opened and old fans priced out or faded away over time. I still refuse to sing it like a New Yorker and always will, glad somebody else notices too.

It's not LET'S go FLYers, it's LET'S GO flyERS, dammit!!!!

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@ doom 88

Alas, Philly did once have it's own distinct cadence, now it's like all the rest. If you see old game film (pre-95 lockout) from Spectrum games you can hear the difference. Even now if they play an "organ" accompanyment it is in the old style, but that's rare. After the Flyers made the playoffs in '95 after 5 straight seasons out of it, a lot of new fans came on board.....the move to the new building also brought a big change in fan demographic, and the tradition was kinda lost.

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No problem, glad my advancing age is of some use here!

I think it's possible that Kate will someday be retired, but personally I don't think it will be anytime soon. For fans (and management) who remember that crackling tape of her being played before big games in the 70s, it still brings chills to see her up on the big screen. And if you can say anything about the organization, it's that they love their traditions.

I will say that the practice of God Bless America being sung before EVERY playoff game needs to stop.

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I did not know that was the chant, always heard the standard LOUD soft LOUD soft chant.

Doom it drives many of us who used to attend games at the Spectrum NUTS to hear the wrong chant. Here is a clip from the last game at the spectrum (pre season game vs the Canes) where the old timers sang the correct chant for the last time.

The Organ plays it right and people sing it wrong, I dont know if it is tone deafness or that people simply aren'y listening.

Some get annoyed that we go on about it becasue it is just a chant but it is "Our chant", it is a unique cadence that no other team uses. I dont want to sound like the Rags fans....I hate them every bone in my body. I want to sound like a Flyers fan...

alas with the new generation I dont think we will ever return to the old chant....

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@Poulin20

Oh man you were right next to that crap? Yeah big tough guys, take your VIP elevator to the luxury box and act a fool, knowing you'll never have to answer for your a**holery. I'm downstairs, sounds like right below you, I could hear you guys fighting the good fight. Honestly I wish I was still upstairs with the REAL fans (used to be in 211 here and sec 28 at the Spectrum), but dad can't do heights anymore and at his age I don't blame him.

I wasnt right below them but it was on my side of the arena. I am in 204 as I like to be on the corner of the arena. We used to be up in section 65 of the Spectrum. I have sat downstairs at the WFC before and I realized how dead it is. One time we got looked at funny by the Flyers fans down there for putting a punk Ranger fan teen kid with his Mom in his place for showing up the Flyers fans in our building. Another time down there I was using one of those "clap fans" that they gave out at the arena to cheer on our boys and this kid sitting in front of me maybe 15 or so turned around and told me to stop as I was being too loud. I was like "WHAT?!?!" and he got nervous and turned around. Also he annoyed me by telling me to stop complaining about a terrible non-call call (he was a Flyers fan mind you) and then proclaimed that he was a ref and would not have made that call. I was like I miss my cheap steats upstairs, the heck with these "fans".

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@Poulin20

I was actually at that game! I guess I didn't notice, probably just yelling my *** off. Sat near some really smart guys who had kids playing hockey as well.

That was the game with two goals and two fights in the first right? Pre-game captain ceremony without Lindros, first game with Richards wearing the C?

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