The Philadelphia Flyers are heading into tonight's Game 3 with the series tied up 1-1 with the New York Rangers.
Looking at the Flyers’ recent history at Madison Square Garden, the ability to take at least one game in New York puts the Flyers in good shape moving forward. That sets them up for Game 3 tonight at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. on CSN.
The Flyers followed up a poor 4-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 1 with an important 4-2 win in Game 2. They rode the goaltending of Ray Emery, who is going to make his third straight start in the postseason with Steve Mason still on the shelf with an upper-body injury.
Two of the Flyers’ five goals this series have come from defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn. Schenn's go-ahead goal in Game 2 came when he joined a Flyers rush.
When asked about the defense getting involved more, coach Craig Berube told reporters after the morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center this morning that he wants to see the defense get more active in the rush.
“They might come in late, and a lot of times pucks are ending up there and they’re available on rushes and stuff,” Berube said this morning. “The Rangers have got good gaps and they don’t give you a lot of room so it’s important that our D are active for outs and getting involved in the offense.”
With the defense getting more involved with the offense, the forwards have helped on the back-end. It’s been a trend all season for players like Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and Brayden Schenn among others to help on the forecheck and back check and cause problems for opposing teams.
The result has been better team defense and it’s a big reason why the Flyers blue line has been much improved.
“The forwards have to get back and help out,” Berube said. “That’s a big part of the game. Back pressure on the puck, especially with a speedy team like [the Rangers), and their defense is active… so like I said, when the puck turns over or we don’t have it, we need to get back and pressure and help out.”
Five Facts for Tonight's Game
1. The Flyers have had a good run at home this season. They posted a 24-14-3 record at the Wells Fargo Center and were tied for the fourth-most wins at home in the Eastern Conference.
2. The Rangers will counter that with one of the best road records in the NHL. They went 25-14-2 on the road, the best in the Eastern Conference and second best in the NHL.
3. In the regular season series between Philadelphia and New York, both teams split 2-2 with the home team winning all four games.
4. The Flyers own an all-time record of 34-34 in Game 3's, and own a 15-18 mark in Game 3 when a series is tied, 1-1. In series terms, the Flyers have won 25 out of 35 series after winning Game 3 and just 13 out of 33 after losing in Game 3.
5. Claude Giroux has 56 career playoff points and is one point shy of tying Eric Lindros (57) to rank 10th in Flyers history in playoff points. He has just one assist and is a plus-3 this series.