The Blueshirts travel to Philadelphia where they conclude the season series against the Flyers (12:30 P.M. ET, NBC).
The Rangers found themselves with two points following a 44 save performance against the playoff bound St. Louis Blues. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period including a disallowed goal, the Rangers stormed back in the second period answering with two goals in an 80 second span. Ryan Strome registered his 17th of the season and Pavel Buchnevich’s hot play continued with his 19th of the season. Buchnevich now has points in six-straight games.
Jimmy Vesey registered his 17th goal of the season which turned out to be the game winning goal. Chris Kreider added the empty net for his 28th of the season putting him one goal short of his career high. When asked about possibly setting a new career high, Kreider was more focused on winning hockey games and getting ready for next season.
“I can tell you right now, the only thing that I’m worried about is just trying to win hockey games,” said Kreider. “That’s what everyone in this room should be worried about. Because we want to compete next year.”
“We found a way to win,” said head coach David Quinn. “Obviously our goalie had a lot to do with it, and we got a timely goal in the third period.”
Quinn hopes the Rangers will be able to secure two more points Sunday afternoon.
“You want to win hockey games, especially when you’re playing a division rival,” Quinn said.
Defeating the Flyers won’t be an easy task for the Blueshirts. The Flyers have won all three meetings this season including a 4-0 shutout in Philadelphia during the Thanksgiving Showdown. Philadelphia was recently eliminated from the playoffs Saturday afternoon following a 5-2 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers started the season slow but have gone 22-11-2 since January 10th.
The Flyers are led by Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier who have combined for 155 points this season (Giroux 81, Couturier 74). Couturier has five points in three games against the Rangers this season.
20-year-old Carter Hart will get the start for the Flyers. Hart is 28-16-11 with a .920 save percentage. Alex Georgiev will get the nod for Sunday’s game, while Henrik Lundqvist will start Monday night.
Tony DeAngelo who has 15 assists in his past 21 games and will play in Philly for the second time in his career. DeAngelo grew up a Flyers fan and will have friends and family in the crowd.
“It’s always nice to go home and get to play in front of your family,” DeAngelo said. “I’ve only done it once in preseason and once in the regular season, so it’s exciting. It brings a little extra excitement to a game.”
In other news, the Rangers have signed 23-year-old Patrick Newell from St. Cloud State University. Newell has 47 points (21-26-47) in 26 games and is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award given annually to the top collegiate player. In addition, Newell was a unanimous selection as the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Forward of the Year and received the NCHC Sportsmanship Award this season.