For the most part, the Flyers will be sticking with what has earned them a 4-game winning streak as the New York Rangers visit the Wells Fargo Center tonight.
Rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky will make his fifth straight start as he looks for his 7th win of the young season.
Andrej Meszaros will return to the lineup after missing Monday’s game with a “slight concussion.” Meszaros said he has not had any headaches or abnormalities since he was boarded by Trent Hunter on Saturday. He will skate with normal defensive partner Sean O’Donnell.
Andreas Nodl will be held off the ice tonight. He is still battling a sore shoulder that needed to be popped back into place during last Saturday night’s win over the Islanders. The injury actually happened before he scored his 2nd goal of the season in that win.
Nodl said he tested the shoulder in this morning’s skate – his first with the team since his injury – and did not have trouble shooting but isn’t exactly sure how it will react in physical situations.
Nikolay Zherdev will also remain in the lineup, with rookie Eric Wellwood, as they replace Nodl and Danny Briere, who will serve the 2nd of his 3-game suspension. Tonight is Zherdev’s first crack at his former team.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Will Jody Shelley and Derek Boogaard square off in one of the most anticipated fighting matchups of the season? The two have fought on 5 separate occasions, all while both were members of the Western Conference.
“I don’t know, we will see,” Shelley said after the Flyers’ morning skate. “It’s one of those things where it takes two people, the other person has to be willing.”
Shelley wasn’t calling Boogaard, nicknamed the "Boogie man," out – but you can bet they’ll both be willing.
KEY TO THE GAME: Since both teams average exactly 3.1 goals per game, special teams will be the difference maker. The Flyers’ power play – which has been much improved as of late – will need to take advantage of the Rangers’ weak penalty kill.
The Flyers are 10-for-58 on the power play (17.2%, 13th in NHL) after starting the season 3-for-35. The Rangers’ PK unit, which sorely misses Blair Betts, has allowed a whopping 11 goals on 48 attempts. That’s just 77.1% effectiveness, 5th worst in the NHL. Eight of the Rangers’ 11 power play goals-against have come in 5-on-4 situations.
New York heads into the game with exactly 90 less penalty minutes than the Flyers, who have the 2nd-most number of minutes.
The Rangers are also not a particularly dangerous team shorthanded, having scored just 1 shorthanded goal this year – which came on a penalty shot.
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