NY Rangers at Philadelphia
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The New York Rangers are riding their longest point streak in seven years and take a four-game winning streak into Saturday's matchup at the Philadelphila Flyers. The Rangers have surged into contention for the lead in the Metropolitan Division on the heels of an 8-0-2 stretch - the first time they have earned points in 10 straight contests since a 13-game run from Feb. 9-March 10, 2008. New York has won four in a row against Philadelphia, including all three meetings this season.
If the Flyers fail to make the postseason, they can point to their inability to beat the also-rans - Philadelphia's last five defeats have come against opponents with fewer than 60 points. The Flyers knocked off NHL-leading Nashville and Washington last weekend, but followed that up with losses at lowly Carolina and Toronto, the latter defeat coming despite unleashing 49 shots. "We feel like we deserve better, but at the same time those games are going to happen," forward Brayden Schenn said.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC, City
ABOUT THE RANGERS (38-16-6): Cam Talbot has been more than serviceable in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist, going 7-0-2 in his last nine starts dating to his last regulation defeat on Feb. 7. Talbot surrendered three first-period goals to Arizona on Thursday night, but stopped all 23 shots over the final 40 minutes to allow New York to rally for a 4-3 victory on two goals apiece by Chris Kreider and Lee Stempniak. Talbot has also been a nemesis for the Flyers, blanking them twice in a 10-day span in November while stopping all 57 shots.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (26-25-11): Defenseman Kimmo Timonen was expected to make his season debut for Philadelphia on Saturday, but his circuitous route back to the ice took yet another detour Friday. The Flyers traded the four-time All-Star to Chicago in exchange for a 2015 second-round draft pick and a 2016 conditional selection. Timonen, who turns 40 next month and has been sidelined all season due to blood clots in his lungs and calf, was being counted on to solidify a Philly defense that is ranked 24th in the league with 2.81 goals allowed per game.
1. Talbot is the first New York netminder to earn a point in nine straight appearances since Mike Richter went 14-0-2 in 1996-97.
2. Timonen's last game was against the Rangers last season - a Game 7 loss that knocked the Flyers out of the playoffs.
3. New York C Derek Stepan has five assists in three meetings with Philadelphia this season.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Flyers 3
Stats and Records