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Flyers-Rangers: Game 46 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Following a three-day break from games, the Flyers return to the ice to continue their schedule as it hits the final stretch. Just 11 games remain, and it will only be a matter of time before the team is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

After a pair of embarrassing losses to the New York Rangers in the span of eight days, the Flyers managed to rebound with a 2-1 win back on March 27. They will close out the season series against the Rangers with a pair of games leading into the weekend, starting with Thursday night's matchup.

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 45 14 21 35 Artemi Panarin 35 16 36 52
Jake Voracek 42 8 25 33 Ryan Strome 46 14 30 44
Claude Giroux 43 11 22 33 Adam Fox 45 5 36 41
Sean Couturier 34 13 18 31 Pavel Buchnevich 45 19 21 40
Joel Farabee 44 15 16 31 Mika Zibanejad 46 16 23 39

Players To Watch 4-22

It's been a tough season for Kevin Hayes. In the last 11 games, Hayes has been held without a goal and has just two assists. The Flyers really need to see Hayes not only get back to finding some of his offensive touch, but playing smart and fundamental hockey in his own zone as a 200-foot player. 
 
Mika Zibanejad has continued to put up points in recent games, with seven in the last five games, but has really torched the Flyers this season. After being held without a point in the first meeting between the two teams, Zibanejad has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in the five games since. That includes two hat tricks and two six-point games.
 
Goalie Matchup 4-22

Brian Elliott gets the start for Thursday's game. Elliott continues to assume starting duties as Carter Hart recovers from injury. Alain Vigneault also didn't commit to a starter for Friday's game. Elliott was excellent in the last game against the Islanders, allowing just the overtime winner on an unfortunate bounce.

Igor Shesterkin gets the call for the Rangers on Thursday. Shesterkin has made three starts against the Flyers this season, getting one win by making 41 saves on March 25. In his last start against the Flyers on March 27, Shesterkin allowed two goals on 37 shots in a loss. Shesterkin recently had a three-game winning streak snapped in a loss to the Islanders on Tuesday.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 4-22

Flyers Scratches: Morgan Frost (injury), Carter Hart (injury), Tanner Laczynski (injury), Sam Morin (healthy)
 
Opponent Line Combos 4-22

Rangers Scratches: Jacob Trouba (injury), Julien Gauthier (healthy), Phillip Di Guiseppe (healthy), Anthony Bitetto (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Carter Hart remains unavailable due to injury. Nolan Patrick slots back into the lineup. Phil Myers comes back in for Sam Morin.
  • Rangers: There are two changes for the Rangers. Among the forwards, the Rangers flipped the places of Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafreniere in the lineup. Zac Jones will make his NHL debut on defense alongside Libor Hajek, who also returns to the lineup.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (20th), Rangers (14th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th), Rangers (4th)
  • Recent History vs. Rangers
    • Feb. 18, 2021 - Rangers 3, Flyers 2 (F/SO) (at PHI)
    • Feb. 24, 2021 - Flyers 4, Rangers 3 (at PHI)
    • March 15, 2021 - Flyers 5, Rangers 4 (F/OT) (at NYR)
    • March 17, 2021 - Rangers 9, Flyers 0 (at NYR)
    • March 25, 2021 - Rangers 8, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
    • March 27, 2021 - Flyers 2, Rangers 1 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Rangers
    • Joel Farabee - 6 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P
    • Kevin Hayes - 8 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 P
    • Claude Giroux - 60 GP, 14 G, 43 A, 57 P
    • Jake Voracek - 45 GP, 14 G, 25 A, 39 P
    • Brian Elliott - 15 GP, 4-9-1, 3.35 GAA, .881 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs two power-play goals to pass Eric Lindros for 8th all-time in Flyers history.
    • Claude Giroux needs two points to pass Brian Propp for 3rd all-time in Flyers history.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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