Do you really need five hours of pre-game NFL hype after the bombardment of the last two weeks? Take a rain check on the talking heads. Go for Rangers-Flyers at 1...
Tomorrow's Super Sunday matinee at Madison Square Garden, the first rematch with the Flyers since the Winter Classic, shapes up as a very physical game, Rangers players said today. And that was before the Flyers lost to the Devils 6-4 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
“We’ve played pretty well against them, so I expect they’ll come out hard,”said Henrik Lundqvist.“It’ll be a faster game than outdoors, which was kind of slowed-down.”
The Rangers are 3-0 in the series this season, with Lundqvist blanking the Flyers on Nov. 26 and allowing just four goals overall. Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to be in goal for the Flyers, who remain three points behind the first-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference.
Defenseman Marc Staal, who made his season debut in the Winter Classic after missing training camp and the first part of the season with post-concussion syndrome, also predicted today’s game “will be a lot more physical” than the 3-2 win at Citizens Bank Park.
“Points mean a lot for both teams and we hate each other,” Michael
Del Zotto added. “We haven’t been home for a while and its Super Bowl Sunday, so it should be pretty noisy.”
Defenseman Steve Eminger expected to be told last night whether he will return after missing 30 games with a separated right shoulder. “He did some grinding…some 2 on 2s in the corners,” Tortorella said after practice here. But he could stick with rookie Stu Bickel, who’s been more than willing to drop the gloves, and give Eminger another day off.
“It’s a little different feeling than last year at this time, when a win might mean the difference between being in eighth place or tenth,” said Eminger, who is celared to play. “But we’re not relaxing. We want to be among the top teams to have home-ice advantage. That’s our goal.”
Artem Anisimov will be on the left of Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan, while Brandon Dubinsky, pointless in the last seven games, will be on a fourth line with Mike Rupp and John Mitchell. “Artie’s been one of our most reliable guys away from the puck,” Tortorella said. “Dubi’s had some struggles, he’s begun to come at certain times, then we lose a little momentum with his game. The encouraging part is we’re still above water and we still have guys who haven’t totally found their game.”