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Rangers vs Flyers - 1/29/2013


Digityman
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Coming off a dud of a game on Sunday after two straight wins, the Philadelphia Flyers (2-4-0) head to the Big Apple to take on one of their bitterest rivals, the New York Rangers (2-3-0). Tonight's game at Madison Square Garden starts at 7 p.m. EST and will be televised locally on CSN Philadelphia.

This is the second of five meetings between the teams this season. Last Thursday in Philadelphia, the Flyers broke an eight-game losing streak against the Blueshirts with a 2-1 victory. Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek hustled up just enough offense to win the game. Ilya Bryzgalov was stellar in goal, especially during a two-minute-long 5-on-3 penalty kill in the third period.

In the games against the Rangers and Florida Panthers, the Flyers seemed to be on the right track toward fixing their early-season problems on both ends of special teams. However, the issues returned with a vengeance in Sunday's 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

Another over-arching problem for the Flyers in the early season has been a lack of discipline. The team has taken the most minor penalties and overall penalty minutes in the NHL through their first six games of the regular season. That's a recipe for a losing record when the club has had so much difficulty killing penalties.

In last week's game against the Rangers, Peter Laviolette was able to roll all four lines. The Flyers had fresher legs on that night than New York, which was on the second game of back-to-backs. John Tortorella shortened his bench both against the Bruins the previous night and then against the Flyers. Philly ended up winning most of the battles.

Tonight, the Rangers enter the game coming off two nights of rest. The Flyers had the day off yesterday. New York is coming off an emotionally uplifting win against Toronto on Saturday. The Rangers fell behind 2-0 but exploded for five unanswered goals.

Last week, the Flyers line of Sean Couturier, Max Talbot and Voracek along with the defensive pairing of Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann shut down the dangerous Rangers top line of Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik at even strength. That feat has been elusive for the rest of the NHL thus far. Repeating the effort will be key to victory for Philadelphia tonight, along with Bryzgalov matching Henrik Lundqvist (who was the Rangers' best player by far in the game last Thursday) save for save.

Kimmo Timonen, who is coming off back surgery, has yet to display more than flashes of the form that made him a four-time NHL All-Star and three-time winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy. However, his new partner, Luke Schenn, had monster games against the Rangers and Panthers. That pairing needs to have a big game tonight as well.

Scott Hartnell suffered a foot injury in last week's game against the Devils. He managed to finish that game, but will be lost to the Flyers until March. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros had a strong effort against the Rangers last Thursday until suffering a separated shoulder on a clean second period hit by New York captain Ryan Callahan. On the flip side, Danny Briere has since returned from a wrist fracture but is still not 100 percent.

Steady defenseman Michael Sauer is out indefinitely for the Rangers due to a concussion. The team still has a formidable top four on defense without him, but is as shallow on its third pairing as the Flyers are without Meszaros. Rangers rookie Chris Kreider has an ankle injury but would likely be a healthy scratch anyway as he has been in Tortorella's doghouse.

PROJECTED LINEUPS (subject to change; will be updated later if necessary)

FLYERS

17 Wayne Simmonds - 28 Claude Giroux - 24 Matt Read

25 Max Talbot - 14 Sean Couturier - 93 Jakub Voracek

48 Danny Briere - 10 Brayden Schenn - 9 Mike Knuble

15 Tye McGinn - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 32 Tom Sestito

44 Kimmo Timonen - 22 Luke Schenn

8 Nicklas Grossmann - 5 Braydon Coburn

6 Andreas Lilja/ 3 Kurtis Foster - 27 Bruno Gervais

30 Ilya Bryzgalov

[49 Michael Leighton]

Rangers

10 Marian Gaborik - 19 Brad Richards - 61 Rick Nash

62 Carl Hagelin - 21 Derek Stepan - 24 Ryan Callahan

14 Taylor Pyatt - 22 Brian Boyle - 36 Benn Ferriero

17 Mike Rupp - 15 Jeff Halpern - 45 Arron Asham

27 Ryan McDonagh - 5 Dan Girardi

18 Marc Staal - 4 Michael Del Zotto

44 Steve Eminger - 6 Anton Stralman

30 Henrik Lundqvist

[43 Martin Biron]

Bill Meltzer

The Rangers have an extra day of rest. I expect a completely different Rangers team than when the Flyers beat them last week.

This will be a true test for a young Flyers team.

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Twitter reporting Rinaldo is in...he came off IR yesterday, I believe. He took a regular shift at practice with Fedetenko and Sestito.

And 2 mins after I submitted this thread, there is a report that he may not play...he switched practice jerseys at the end, and pulled himself off that line.

Go figure...

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Twitter reporting Rinaldo is in...he came off IR yesterday, I believe. He took a regular shift at practice with Fedetenko and Sestito.

And 2 mins after I submitted this thread, there is a report that he may not play...he switched practice jerseys at the end, and pulled himself off that line.

Go figure...

Sestito over McGinn? Interesting... based only on play, I would go with McGinn.

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McGinn looked really good in that fight last week

Yeah I thought so too. Not so sure about the rest of his game. He's not the fastest skater, but seems to get the job done on the little things. Too soon to tell. We need guys like Schenn, Briere and Voracek to step up.

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Yeah I thought so too. Not so sure about the rest of his game. He's not the fastest skater, but seems to get the job done on the little things. Too soon to tell. We need guys like Schenn, Briere and Voracek to step up.

Especially Voracek. It's his 5th pro season, and he needs to take that next step in his game. He's got keen defensive skills, but his offense in the NHL is still coming together. We've seen flashes of it, and based on his junior career, he's got a ton of offensive upside. I'd like to see him breakthrough this year.

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RE: Voracek

I think when he gets into NHL shape which will be shortly we'll see that, he still had some jump late in the 3rd in that dud of a game vs Tampa Bay, and he just missed on a couple of plays on the PP, I think with better fitness we'll see him take that step we're looking for.

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@Podein25

he did play in the KHL , which i believe has a pretty leisurely schedule compared to the NHL , plus he was living at home eating ma Voras cooking and drinking the poutniks. Hartnell called him fat in camp, so i think there's some body mass to lose.and some wind to be gained.

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he did play in the KHL , which i believe has a pretty leisurely schedule compared to the NHL , plus he was living at home eating ma Voras cooking and drinking the poutniks. Hartnell called him fat in camp, so i think there's some body mass to lose.and some wind to be gained.

LMAO, esp. at the notion of Hartnell calling someone other than himself "fat." I'll take your word for it and say you're right. The real (potential) Jake should start to appear any day now...

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LMAO, esp. at the notion of Hartnell calling someone other than himself "fat

Can you effing imagine what Hartnell is going to look like after 4 weeks of no conditioning, and lying on the couch???? Pfffft...I have visions of the Michelin man, with red hair, on skates. :P

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@brelic

Yeah exactly re Voracek. He's now past that magical 4th year breakout that many players have. Time to stop hanging around the periphery and take the puck to the paint Jake.

This is why Voracek drives me absolutely insane... he is always to the outside and never drives the net. He NEEDS to step up this year...

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