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Flyers-Rangers: Game 26 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Yet another series against the same opponent ahead of the Flyers in the standings came and went in the past week. It was once again a rough one, as the Flyers were certainly competitive during those games, but too little too late each time, as mistakes continued to dominate the play of this team.

As such, the Flyers enter the current week with four more games on the schedule. The third one will mark the halfway point of the season, and as that approaches, they are currently three points out of a playoff spot and chasing the season once again.

Perhaps the start of this week can provide the spark for the Flyers. They are playing the New York Rangers, another team not in the playoff picture. These are games the Flyers need to have in order to keep up in the race and make the head-to-head matchups against the top teams in the division more meaningful as the season progresses.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New York Rangers GP G A P
James van Riemsdyk 25 12 16 28 Pavel Buchnevich 26 8 14 22
Joel Farabee 24 11 11 22 Chris Kreider 26 14 5 19
Kevin Hayes 25 9 11 20 Ryan Strome 26 10 9 19
Claude Giroux 23 5 14 19 Artemi Panarin 15 5 14 19
Sean Couturier 15 6 12 18 Adam Fox 26 2 13 15

Players To Watch 3-15

Ivan Provorov has had his share of struggles this season along with every other defenseman on the roster. But he is easily the ice-time leader and defender thrown into the high pressure situations. Players need to step up during these struggles, and Provorov is definitely one of them.
 
The Flyers have faced the Rangers twice this season. Artemi Panarin played in the first game and made a clear impact, with an assist and a goal in the shootout in a 3-2 win in the skills competition. Panarin didn't play in the second game, and his absence was certainly noticeable. He's back in the lineup for the Rangers now and could be in for a big game.
 
Goalie Matchup 3-15

Carter Hart was thrown back into action on Saturday night after Brian Elliott struggled in goal. Hart took the loss, allowing two goals in relief, and the Flyers have no choice but to turn back to him despite his confidence taking a huge hit in the last few weeks. Much like the rest of the team, Hart is looking to get that on the right track starting on Monday night. 

Keith Kinkaid picked up his first win of the season on Saturday by pitching a shutout, making 18 saves in a defensively dominant performance by the Rangers. Kinkaid has made two starts and two relief appearances in the last week, and it's likely he gets the call again for the Rangers.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 3-15 update2

Flyers Scratches: Morgan Frost (injury), Brian Elliott (healthy), Erik Gustafsson (healthy), Robert Hagg (healthy), Andy Andreoff (healthy)
 
Opponent Line Combos 3-15

Rangers Scratches: Igor Shesterkin (injured), Anthony Bitetto (injured), Phillip Di Giuseppe (COVID protocol), Julien Gauthier (healthy), Jack Johnson (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Michael Raffl is will return to the lineup, so Andy Andreoff will come out. There are no other changes to the lineup, but Alex Lyon will serve as backup to Carter Hart for the game. Brian Elliott is healthy, but was given extra work in the morning skate since the team is not skating on Tuesday and will have the night off.
  • Rangers: The Rangers are primarily healthy at the moment. Phillip Di Giuseppe was a late addition to the COVID list on Sunday, but other than that, they have the majority of the lineup available.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-20th), Rangers (27th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (27th), Rangers (3rd)
  • Recent History vs. Rangers
    • Feb. 18, 2021 - Rangers 3, Flyers 2 (F/SO) (at PHI)
    • Feb. 24, 2021 - Flyers 4, Rangers 3 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Rangers
    • Claude Giroux - 57 GP, 12 G, 42 A, 54 P
    • Jake Voracek - 42 GP, 13 G, 23 A, 36 P
    • Sean Couturier - 36 GP, 6 G, 17 A, 23 P
    • Carter Hart - 5 GP, 3-1-1, 2.17 GAA, .925 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Ivan Provorov needs two assists to reach 100 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

Game Preview Video

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