Philadelphia Flyers (7-7-2) at New York Rangers (7-7-4)
|Date & Time||Wednesday November 19, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Rangers -140 / Philadelphia Flyers +127 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The New York Rangers have had quite a few lackluster games to start this season but Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning may have been the worst. It’s understandable that a team coming off a two-month run to the Stanley Cup Finals would struggle at the start of the season but the biggest problem for New York has been the number of times they’ve failed to show up in games. There’s been at least three occasions where they were complete no-shows and Tampa Bay certainly took advantage. The Lightning jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and even though the Rangers converted a power play when Martin St. Louis scored in the opening minute of the second they were never able to build any momentum from it. New York looked like they weren’t even trying for much of this game and it shows in the stat column. The Rangers managed just 16 total shots on home ice in the 5-1 loss. Henrik Lundqvist allowed all five goals but to be fair he never really had a chance on any of them. Defense has been what has carried this club for years now and there was absolutely none of it to be found in this game. Former Blueshirt Ryan Callahan returned home and scored two goals, while other former Rangers Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle reminded New York of what they’re missing in their lineup now as well. The last time the Rangers had an effort like this was last Sunday night when they were sleep walking through a home tilt against the Edmonton Oilers. New York followed that up with a 60 minute dominating effort in a 5-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It would be silly to assume a performance like that again but if they don’t show the same type of push back that they showed in that game it would be surprising. With another rival in the Philadelphia Flyers coming to town it shouldn’t be too hard to get up for this game.
Philadelphia has had an up and down start to their season as well and they’ll be looking to snap a two game losing streak when they head to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. The Garden has been a house of horrors in recent years for Philadelphia so this might not be the best timing for them, especially considering they should get New York’s best game. The Flyers had a chance to get some points in Montreal on Saturday night but Ray Emery couldn’t make a save all game long and it was too much for them to overcome. Already trailing 2-0 in the second period the Flyers allowed a power play goal to fall behind by three before starting to rally. Brayden Schenn scored his fifth and sixth goals late in the period to cut the deficit to 3-2 heading into the third. Once again the Flyers ended up allowing an early goal as the Canadiens made it 4-2 before Matt Read’s power play tally cut the lead to one again. Dale Weise would score twice before the end of the contest to send the Flyers to a 6-3 defeat. Emery ended up allowing six goals on just 28 shots. Philadelphia’s penalty kill didn’t come through in this one, allowing goals on all three opportunities for Montreal. Defense and goaltending continue to be issues with this franchise but for whatever reason they never seem to address it. Philadelphia tries to bring in guys on defense that provide offense, but it does nothing to solve their defensive woes, and we all know how many goalies they’ve had over the past decade. Whether it’s Steve Mason or Emery in goal on Wednesday night they should expect to see a healthy Rangers attack in this one.
Not a huge fan of the price here with the Rangers but they should come to play in this one. New York has really had Philadelphia’s number at Madison Square Garden the last few years and they need a good performance after that dud they laid on Monday.