The New York Rangers have owned the Flyers in recent seasons, and that domination is expected to continue Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Since late in the 2010-11 season, the Rangers have won eight straight in the rivalry, outscoring the Flyers by a combined 34-13.
The Flyers have lost three straight to start the season, and they have dropped seven in a row if you include last year's playoffs.
Trying to avoid their first 0-4 start in franchise history, the Flyers will be missing four regular forwards _ Scott Hartnell (foot injury), Danny Briere (wrist), Zac Rinaldo (leg) and Brayden Schenn (one-game suspension).
Thus, Peter Laviolette will have to scramble the lines. If he goes with a big-body player to replace Hartnell, Tye McGinn could move to the top line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. Or he might move Wayne Simmonds onto that unit.
There are many possibilities for the lines; assuming no one is recalled from the Phantoms, here are some of them:
- Giroux centering McGinn and Voracek.
- Sean Couturier centering Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Read. (This was a unit Tuesday in New Jersey).
- Scott Laughton centering Simmonds and Max Talbot.
- Eric Wellwood centering Tom Sestito and Jody Shelley.