New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers - 4/30/14
Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-10) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Rangers / Philadelphia Flyers --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Rangers and Flyers put an end to their ugly opening round series on Wednesday night with the victor setting up a second round encounter with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flyers did their part on Tuesday night by waxing the Rangers by a 5-2 final forcing g a seventh and deciding game in New York on Wednesday in what should be a very hostile energy at MSG. Philadelphia had a sensational second period that blew the game open after taking a 1-0 lead through the first 20 minutes and held on from there as they dominated the game offensively and received some stellar and timely goaltending from Steve Mason. Philly would love the opportunity to get past the Rangers and set up an even more gruesome second round matchup with their hated rivals from Pittsburgh but in order to get there they will have to crack down on turnovers which was a huge factor in the opening period last night that could very well have cost them their season if the Blue Shirts took advantage. Philadelphia’s player of the game went to Wayne Simmonds who netted a hat trick which obviously paced the Philadelphia scoring attack and the former Los Angeles Kings forward would love to repeat his actions in a pivotal show down on Wednesday night.
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The Rangers laid an egg on the road in what could have been the series clincher but now we get a third game seven of the opening round and while the other two games will be exciting this one has a sense of animosity the other two don’t. New York and Philadelphia do not get along and have been hated division rivals for years and while this series has been tame at times I expect things to blow up a bit in this one as both teams know it is a win or go home scenario and you can bet nobody on the ice would like to see their season end tomorrow night. Henrik Lundqvist was blown up for five goals last night but he didn’t really get a ton of help and if the Rangers can play a more sound defensive game and keep the Philly attack at bay then I think this spot favours them more than it does the Flyers. Claude Giroux has his best game of the series last night which is a scary thought for the Rangers but again if New York can limit the damage done up front then I think they will have more confidence in the pace of the game and as such have the upper hand in what I see being a New York win. Again, as a hockey fan I would love to see a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia second round but I don’t think we see it this season.