Flyers, Rangers set for final matchup of season

Apr 22, 2021; New York, New York, USA; James van Riemsdyk #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a goal in the third period as Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers defends at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2021; New York, New York, USA; James van Riemsdyk #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a goal in the third period as Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers defends at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

The Flyers are set for their final tilt of the season against the Rangers and will do it in the second game of a back-to-back at the Garden. The Flyers are 4-2-1 against the Rangers this season. Coming into tonight’s game, the Flyers and Rangers are both sitting outside of the playoff hunt. The Flyers currently sit 11 points behind the 4th place Bruins and the Rangers are sitting 8 points out.

In a game that could pretty much be meaningless except for standings, the Flyers could play spoilers for the Rangers in general. With 9 games left in the season, the Flyers would need a miracle to make the playoffs at this point, but winning tonight gives them hope. It is the NHL and anything could happen.

At this point in the season, with it being a short season, we get to see the effects of the Flyers’ bad March. Unfortunately, last season when the Flyers had their terrible stretch of games during their “Disney on Ice trip” they had time to make up for that bad stretch of games. If they could play like they did last night for almost every game this season, we may not be talking about this, but it is what it is.

The Flyers looked like the team from last season that we barely got a glimpse of this year. The defense was very solid and Moose was pretty much standing on his head for the majority of the game only giving up 2 goals on 35 shots. The PK also was very good at breaking up 3 Ranger powerplays in the game.

There were some really noticeable players in last night’s game. Kevin Hayes was skating with energy and purpose, making good plays throughout the game and on the PK. JVR scored the opening goal of the game after hitting off the side of the face. He went off the ice afterward, came back in the 2nd period, and scored the go-ahead goal off a deflection in his office on the PP. Jakey added the 3rd and GWG of the game.

With Brian Elliot playing last night and Carter Hart still out with that lower-body injury, Alex Lyon will most likely get the start tonight, especially with the string of games coming up. Alex Lyon made his first NHL start against the Capitals last Saturday since Feb. 1st of 2020. He gave up 5 goals on 40 shots in their 6-3 loss. I would expect a better outcome tonight. He was kind of thrown to the wolves for his first game in over a year to a really hot Capitals team.

The Flyers worked hard to come back after the first goal and battled all game. The Flyers will need the exact same performance to win this final match against the Rangers. Even if the Flyers do not make the playoffs, building something off the end of this season might help them carry something over into next season.

For the Rangers, every game is key, especially with teams magic number getting smaller. The Bruins and Rangers will meet at the end of the season, but that will not matter if the Rangers can beat the Flyers tonight or if the Bruins stay red hot.

Players to watch:


Wade Allison– Wade has been playing very well. He seems to always be in the right spot and gets some really good looks. I would not be caught off guard if he ends up scoring his second goal tonight. He has been playing hard, making the right plays, and overall play the game the right way and when you do that, the puck will find the back of the net.

Kevin Hayes– With one assist last night, Kevin Hayes looked really locked into the game. There were a lot of plays where I noticed him right away and it seemed like he had the confidence of the Haysey from last season. If he comes into tonight’s game with the same mentality and confidence, don’t be surprised if he puts one in the back of the net himself.

Ivan Provorov– The Russian Machine doesn’t break as many would say and Provie is a prime example of that. I was noticing number 9 all over the ice. With 5 shots and 2 assists on last night’s game, Provie looked like our number 1 d man. He activated at the right times and made good plays. As he said the other day, “there are no quitters on this team”, and I truly believe it.

New York

Artemi Panarin– Panarin has been very good again this year, even after his personal leave from the team. Panarin last night against the Flyers was buzzing all over the ice and Moose just kept robbing him. He eventually got one past Elliot in the final 2 minutes of the 3rd period, but he was buzzing, I would not be surprised if he continues to play that way again tonight.

Mike Zibanejad– in the last two out of three matchups before last night’s game, Mika put up back-to-back 6 point games against the Flyers while also posting hat tricks in both games. The following game, he scored the lone Rangers goal. Last night, he was not really noticeable on the ice and only added an assist to the game. Mika is a high-energy player and plays hard. Lyon is going to have a tough task tonight to try to keep him out of the back of the net.

Projected Lineups 


Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jakub Vorachek

Joel Farabee – Kevin Hayes – Wade Allison

James van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov – Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim – Robert Hagg

Shayne Gostisbhere – Phil Myers

Alex Lyon

Brian Elliot

New York

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Colin Blackwell

Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko

Kevin Rooney – Brett Howden – Vitali Kratsov

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller – Zac Jones

Anthony Bitetto – Brendan Smith

Igor Shesterkin

Alexander Georgiev

Where, When and How to watch:

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York

Where to watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio Broadcast: 97.5 The Fanatic

Live Stream: Fubo TV, My Teams App

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