New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-10)
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 29, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Philadelphia Flyers -105 / New York Rangers -105 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Flyers look to keep their season alive with a win on home ice on Tuesday night as they host the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.
The New York Rangers are a victory away from advancing to the second round for a date with the Pittsburgh Penguins As they took game five on home ice and have pushed the Flyers to the brink of elimination. This series has been pretty competitive both ways with the home team seemingly having the edge but it is on the road where the Rangers have enjoyed a lot of success this season and if they can play another sound outing away from home they can secure their spot in the second round. Henrik Lundqvist has been strong as expected in the New York crease and the offense has been pretty well balanced but the key for New York has been the play of Martin St. Louis who is finally emerging from his cocoon at the right moment and is leading the Blueshirts up front. New York has a very solid back end as well and that is a big advantage for them over the Flyers who are banged up on the blue line and could be without Nik Grossman once again who has been one of their top defensemen this season.
Philadelphia would love nothing more than send this to take the next two contests not only because it would keep their playoff aspirations intact but it would set up a series for the ages between them and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers seem to have some kind of mental advantage over their instate rivals dating back to their epic first round encounter two years ago and if the hockey Gods can grace us with that matchup the league and its fans would be ecstatic as it would carry a little more substance than seeing the Pens and Rangers. Unfortunately for Philly, they find themselves down 3-2 in their series with New York, who continue to be a dark horse in the Eastern Conference, and they’ll have to come up with two special efforts if they’re going to win this series and I think it will be very tough to pull off. The Flyers seem to be a different team at home than on the road and after Claude Giroux’s game four guarantee that tied the series they’ll need another bit of motivation to stay focused here in game six. While I am secretly hoping that the Flyers can claw back and win this series simply for the possible matchup with the Pens I am not naïve enough to bypass a solid Rangers team that thrives away from MSG and I think they get the call here and end this series.