Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers, Game one of a tough back-to-back
The 5-2-1 Philadelphia Flyers travel up to Madison Square Garden for a divisional matchup against the New York Rangers. Carter Hart will take on Igor Shesterkin in what is sure to be one of the best goaltender matchups of the season.
Flyers – Rangers Goaltender Comparison
Flyers Starting Lineup
Egor Zamula is going to be scratched again and John Tortorella mentioned today how seeing the game as a young player without participating can often be a learning experience. The high energy bottom-six line of Deslauriers-Sedlak-Allison were actually fantastic in the game against Carolina and appear to have chemistry. I love seeing how excited these guys get when they or one of their linemates score.
Newcomer Kieffer Bellows is going to get some run alongside Morgan Frost and Zac MacEwen. When asked about his debut, Tortorella said he can’t judge a player based off the 12-13 minutes he played last game. He will take another look at him tonight.
Noah Cates remains on the wing which is a much preferable position for him. Hopefully he finds his groove enough to where we can put this center experiment to bed and allow him to grow into the forechecking monster he can be.
Another Tough Test
There’s no denying the caliber of the New York Rangers, I have to tip my cap. They tasted playoff success last season and have a hungry young lineup that are all stamping their way in this league.
Adam Fox won a Norris Trophy in his second season. Igor Shesterkin just won a Vezina Trophy last season. Needless to say their rebuild was successful. Anytime the Flyers go up to Madison Square Garden it’s usually a battle and I still remember the 9-0 loss there last season.
Our record is 5-2-1 because of Carter Hart. Hart has yet to lose a game in regulation and has gained points in the standings for the Flyers in every start. If we are going to start this tough back-to-back with a win it will be because of him.
What’s impressive to me is his ability to bounce back mid-game. In 5 of his 6 starts he’s allowed the first goal, but still hoists a 5-0-1 record and those dominant numbers listed above. The entire club is resilient and it’s a welcome change from the loser culture last season.
The story of this contest will come down to the goaltending. Both guys are lights out, but the Rangers clearly have the better offense. It hasn’t stopped the Flyers from winning before but they are once again outmatched in skill and need timely finishing to help Carter Hart.
Prediction: 3-2 Flyers (OT)
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Flyers