Flyers-Rangers Preview

The New York Rangers broke out of their scoring slump in a big

way.

Scoring in bunches has been commonplace for them at Madison

Square Garden.

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

Washington.

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

March 18.

“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,

2007.

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

game.”

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

lower-body injury.

Callahan leads the Rangers with four goals and six points during

their home winning streak.