The New York Rangers broke out of their scoring slump in a big
Scoring in bunches has been commonplace for them at Madison
The Rangers go for their first six-game home winning streak
since the 1996-97 season on Saturday when they renew their Atlantic
Division rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers, who are off to their
best road start in 18 years.
After outscoring opponents 26-11 during a season-best seven-game
winning streak from Oct. 31-Nov. 15, New York (11-5-3) scored one
total goal in a pair of losses prior to Friday’s 6-3 victory at
Ruslan Fedotenko notched his second and third goals of 2011-12,
Ryan Callahan doubled his season assist output with a career-high
three and the Rangers capped off their four-game road stretch with
their highest scoring game since a 6-3 victory over Montreal on
“They allowed themselves to play tonight,” coach John Tortorella
said. “It was a much more fluid game for us.”
The Rangers will look to keep their offensive surge going at
MSG, where they have outscored opponents 19-7 during their longest
undefeated run there since a five-game stretch Oct. 29-Nov. 8,
New York last won six in a row on home ice from Dec. 16,
1996-Jan. 4, 1997.
Philadelphia (13-6-3), though, opens its four-game trip with a
7-2-1 road record. It is the Flyers’ best start away from home
since opening 7-3-0 in 1993-94.
In its last visit, Philadelphia suffered a season-high fourth
consecutive loss and was denied a sixth straight win in this
matchup with a 7-0 loss on March 6.
Callahan set career highs in that contest with four goals and
five points, while Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to help the
Rangers end a season-worst four-game skid on home ice.
If Lundqvist makes a third consecutive start Saturday, he should
be prepared to face Claude Giroux. The Flyers center is among the
league leaders with 29 points after scoring twice in Friday’s 3-1
win over Montreal.
Through 22 contests, Giroux has more than half as many goals
(13) as he did (25) in 82 games in 2010-11.
“This year he’s really spread his wings,” coach Peter
Laviolette said of Giroux, who posted team highs with seven assists
and eight points as Philadelphia won four of six from New York last
season. “He’s consistently one of the top forwards in the
The Flyers will need Giroux to keep attacking the net after
learning Friday that left wing James van Riemsdyk could be out for
a week or more with an upper-body injury.
Keeping newcomer Ilya Bryzgalov on the bench for a second
straight game might be a good idea after Flyers second-year
netminder Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 23 of 24 shots Friday to
improve to 5-1-1.
“He was sharp, handled the puck well and gave us an opportunity
to win,” Laviolette said.
In his only career appearance visiting the Rangers, Bobrovsky
surrendered three goals on 18 shots as a second-period replacement
on March 6.
Flyers captain Chris Pronger is questionable after missing the
last three games with a virus, while former Ranger Jaromir Jagr is
expected to be out for the fourth time in five games due to a
Callahan leads the Rangers with four goals and six points during
their home winning streak.