After a very disappointing performance against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, the Rangers will travel to southeast Pennsylvania where they will find the Philadelphia Flyers waiting for them (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersEast Division Ranks /8Flyers
8thEast Ranking3rd

               In what many considered a very important game for the Blueshirts, the Rangers came up with a disappointing performance and were ultimately defeated 5-2 by a New Jersey Devils team that hadn’t played in over two weeks. There was a clear effort issue and they were outplayed in the first and third period. Without outstanding goaltending from Igor Shesterkin in the first period, the Devils could have scored another three goals without question. Shesterkin made 32 saves on 36 shots and was the reason the Rangers weren’t completely embarrassed on the scoreline.

               And the news only got worse as the Rangers lost Jacob Trouba due to injury. Trouba suffered a broken thumb and the estimated timeline of his absence is four-to-six weeks.  

               “As a coach, you always feel like it’s on you,” said head coach David Quinn on Wednesday. “It’s a sickening feeling… The hard part about this profession is that when things go well, you don’t think you have much to do with it. When things go bad, you think you have everything to do with it. That’s how I felt last night.”

               And while the Rangers can feel sorry for themselves, the best thing they can do is to get back on the ice and try to turn things around against a tough Philadelphia Flyers squad. The good news is the Rangers will welcome the return of Artemi Panarin and K’Andre Miller to the lineup. Panarin missed the past two games while Miller missed the first game of his career against New Jersey. The Blueshirts scored just two goals in two games in Panarin’s absence. Panarin is expected to rejoin a line with Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko.

               With Miller’s partner, Trouba now out of the lineup – Brendan Smith is expected to remain in the top four. Smith replaced Miller against New Jersey and is now expected to hold down this role during Trouba’s absence.

               The Flyers are currently sitting third in the East and they will play their first game in ten games after having a COVID-19 outbreak. The Rangers defense will have their hands full with a very impressive first line featuring New Jersey native James Van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, and Joel Farabee. Van Riemsdyk and Farabee have combined for 30 points in 13 games while Couturier has four points in three games.   

               While the first line consists of players who are having a good start to the season, that is not their normal top line and the Flyers will be missing some key players. Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux, Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Morgan Frost, and Justin Braun are all on the COVID-19 Protocol list and will be unavailable. With the Flyers short six forwards and one defenseman, the Rangers will have an opportunity to take advantage of the Flyers’ depth skaters. The Flyers have not been good on defense this year and with key players missing out – the Rangers will have a chance to ignite the offense.

               The plan for a struggling offense should be simple. Get pucks in deep all the time and get as many shots as possible. It’s time for the Rangers to get back to basics.

               “Throw pucks at the net,” said goaltender Alex Georgiev on the team’s offensive struggles. “Teams are expecting us to make that extra pass.”

Projected Lineup




Lemieux-Howden-Di Giuseppe