The Philadelphia Flyers will travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals this afternoon. The game is at 12:00pm and will be televised on NBC. The series is tied 2-2.
The Flyers will look for a repeat performance from Steve Mason who stopped 37 of 38 shots on Friday en route to his first career playoff victory. Henrik Lundqvist has been great so far in this series (.927 sv%, 1.76 GAA) as the Flyers have only scored eight goals in four games. Mason, who missed the first three games with an injury from game 81 of the regular season, did not look rusty and will need to carry over his Game Four performance this afternoon.
Although Craig Berube claims to have not made a decision regarding Nicklas Grossmann’s replacement, it looks like Hal Gill will get the nod. The defense pairings will look the same way they did in Game Four, placing Gill on the second pairing with Mark Streit. Look for Berube to occasionally shift Andrew MacDonald up and down the line-up to give both Kimmo Timonen and Hal Gill a rest.
The Flyers will need to make a few adjustments if they want to hang with the speedy Rangers. In the second period of Game Four the Flyers asserted themselves on the forecheck, neutralizing the Rangers speed. Look for the forwards to be aggressive on the forecheck to disrupt the Ranger breakouts and gain some time in the offensive zone.
The Flyers proved that they can win in MSG last Sunday afternoon. Going into that game they were 0 for their last 9 attempts. If the Flyers want to move on, they will need at least one more win in the Rangers building. I’d rather that win come today than in a Game Seven on Wednesday.