Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

NYR, Flyers update: Rangers staying hungry, Mason might play Sun.

Flyers' Steve Mason reaches for a shot by

(Credit: AP / Matt Slocum)

Both the Rangers and Flyers will be skating at the Garden on Saturday, but it’s just separate practices: The Blueshirts at 11, the Orangeshirts at 12:30.

I’m expecting the same lineup for the Rangers, with J.T. Miller, Dan Carcillo, Raphael Diaz and Justin Falk scratched. Why not? 35-15 in shots. 

The word from Chelsea Piers, where Flyers goalie Steve Mason (upper-body) took shots...

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Mason will rejoin Flyers on Friday, Game 2 status uncertain

Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Mason catches a shot during

(Credit: AP / Matt Slocum)

It's possible that tonight could be Ray Emery's only start this week at MSG.

G Steve Mason, who remained in Philadelphia with an upper-body injury sustained when his head and neck hit the ice in the season finale, is "doing better"  and will join the team in New York on Friday, Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

But Berube said Mason would not practice tomorrow, and did not know if...

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Rangers lineup: Ryan McDonagh in, Raphael Diaz out

Ryan McDonagh sets before a faceoff against the

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Although rookie Jesper Fast did not join his teammates in the morning skate here at Madison Square Garden, it appears that he will dress for his first NHL playoff game.

Asked if Dan Carcillo would be in for Fast, coach Alain Vigneault said “No” and explained that it was a “maintenance morning” for the Swedish right wing. J.T. Miller, Raphael Diaz and Justin Falk remained on the ice late with...

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Derick Brassard back on ice Wednesday

Derrick Brassard during practice on Tuesday, April 15,

(Credit: Errol Anderson)

Derick Brassard, who left Tuesday's practice with what appeared to be a back issue, returned this morning in Westchester.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, injured G Steve Mason was not practicing, and it appears that Ray Emery will be in goal for Game 1.

More coming up shortly......

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My first-round playoff picks

Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta celebrates after scoring against

(Credit: AP)

I’d consider going 6-2 a very good forecast on my part.

***

BRUINS OVER RED WINGS IN 6.   More depth and Rask.

PENS OVER JACKETS IN 6.    Jackets close, but have no Crosby, Malkin

RANGERS OVER FLYERS IN 7.  Lundqvist difference here.

CANADIENS OVER TAMPA IN 7.  Home-ice advantage, and injured Bishop was Lightning MVP

DUCKS OVER...

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Derick Brassard's status uncertain; more updates from NYR practice

Derick Brassard of the Rangers checks Jakub Voracek

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

GREENBURGH, N.Y -- Two days before the start of the first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Rangers center Derick Brassard may not be 100 percent healthy for Game 1.

After about 40 minutes of practice, Brassard left the ice limping and holding his lower back and was not available to the media afterward.

Asked if Brassard would be ready to play on Thursday, coach Alain Vigneault...

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Derick Brassard leaves practice with lower back pain

Derick Brassard of the Rangers skates in the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

About 45 minutes into the Rangers first post-season practice -- and two days before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Flyers -- C Derick Brassard left practice limping and holding his lower back. J.T. Miller subbed for him on a line with Benoit Poulito and Mats Zuccarello for the rest of the session.

Missing Brassard would also disrupt the second power play unit. Miller,...

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Union's Mat Bodie, Rangers agree on deal

Union's Mat Bodie in action during the first

(Credit: AP)

Defenseman Mat Bodie, who was captain of the NCAA champion Union College Dutchmen, has agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers. An official announcement is expected later today.

Bodie, a 24-year-old Manitoba native, had eight goals and 31 assists in 40 games this season.

According to scouts and observers, Bodie is a very good skater with a quick release and hard shot...

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NHL, NBC fumble Rangers-Flyers matchup

Benoit Pouliot of the Rangers fall onto Jakub

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

You'd think the No. 1 and No. 4 TV markets in the U.S. would mean something more to the league and the network.

Apparently not.

A noon game on Easter Sunday. Ridiculous. Good way to pay back the loyal fan bases in those two cities on a religious holiday.

That game is on NBC, which owns the rights, by the way, and so is Game 5. The others aren't even on the NBC Sports Network, which...

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WEPN (98.7 FM) and WLIR (107.1 FM) will air first round

Because you asked, WEPN (98.7 FM/ESPN Radio New York) and WLIR (107.1 FM) will air the first-round playoff games between the Rangers and Flyers live. Sirius XM will broadcast Games 1 and 2 and 5 and 7, if necessary....

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