New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren controls the puck during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

               After having as poor of a game as they have played all year, the Rangers will look to make amends as they host the Philadelphia Flyers (7:00 P.M. EST, MSG+).

RangersNHL RankingsFlyers
4thNHL Standing Rank29th

Previous Game

               The Blueshirts saw their four-game win streak snapped by their crosstown rivals. While the goal of the offseason was to be tougher to play against and make the playoffs – the reason the Rangers changed direction was because of what the Islanders did to them down the stretch. On Friday night, the Islanders once again beat the Rangers pretty convincingly despite having a down year. The Islanders won 3-0 and they never looked like they were in trouble.

               “We were horseshit,” said head coach Gerard Gallant following the game. Gallant wasn’t the only one who used some ‘special’ language as Panarin said something similar via a translator.


               The Rangers will be looking to start a new win streak as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers who just so happen to be one of the bottom-feeders this season. The big news entering the game for the Rangers is what will the new line combinations look like. Gallant left the top line alone while keeping Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp together on the second line. Jonny Brodzinski centered the duo, but that could just be a place-holder for Ryan Strome who may be available for the Blueshirts.

               “It’s definitely a possibility…,” Gallant said about Strome returning from injury.

               In the bottom-six, Julien Gauthier skated on the third line which makes his return to the lineup look more likely. Gauthier last played on March 15th against the Anaheim Ducks. The 24-year-old has seven points on the season. He skated on a line with Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil.

               The fourth line saw the subtraction of Greg McKegg who is slated to be a healthy scratch and saw the addition of Barclay Goodrow who would center the line. Dryden Hunt also did not practice with the main group.

               Of course, the forward lineup could all change if Strome isn’t available. It would be hard to imagine Gallant playing Brodzinski with Copp as Brodzinski has been on the fourth-line all season.

               On the backend, expect Braden Schneider to be a healthy scratch as Justin Braun is slated to return to the lineup against his former team. Braun was traded to the at the trade deadline by the Flyers for a draft pick. Braun was a healthy scratch for five games as the Blueshirts went on a winning streak. He’s expected to make up the bottom pair with Patrik Nemeth.

               Igor Shesterkin will likely get the start for the Rangers. Shesterkin didn’t have the best month he could have. In four of his last eight starts, the Russian netminder finished with a save percentage sub .900. Barring a late charge which is very possible – Shesterkin’s chances at the Hart Trophy have gone in the wrong direction.


               The Flyers enter Sunday night’s game in disarray. Philadelphia has lost each of their past four games and has allowed at least four goals in each game.

               Most notably the Flyers were sellers at the trade deadline and they traded away their captain Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers. Giroux played 1000 games as a member of the Flyers and recorded 900 points.

               In recent news, Philadelphia head coach Mike Yeo opted to end Keith Yandle’s historic iron man run on Saturday night against the Leafs. Yandle had played in 989 consecutive games including 103 regular-season games with the Rangers. Despite being a highly respected veteran, the 35-year-old has struggled mightily this season with just 15 points in 67 games and had a plus-minus of -39. The Flyers are looking to get reps and looks for their young and upcoming defenders.

               With the Flyers playing on Saturday, backup goaltender Martin Jones is in line to get the start. Jones has allowed four goals in each of his past two starts.

What to watch

               While it probably goes without saying, it will be important to see how the Rangers respond. They’ll go through adversity in the playoffs and will need to have quick memories if things get difficult. The Rangers can use this as a test for the playoffs when things get tough. They need to come out and take control of the game. They are the better team and they should play like it.

Projected Lineup










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