Sunday, January 25, 2015

Inside the Flyers-Rangers series

Gallery: Inside the Flyers-Rangers series

Decisions, decisions

   Flyers coach Craig Berube has a difficult decision: Does he stick with veteran Hall Gill or go with the quicker but less experienced Erik Gustafsson in Game 6 Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center?

   Berube wouldn't tip his hand.

   Gill replaced injured defenseman Nick Grossmann in Game 5 Sunday and was minus-2 in the Flyers' 4-2 loss in New York, so Berube is tempted to give Gustafsson his first appearance in the 2014 playoffs.

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  •    Berube said he would decide Tuesday about his sixth defenseman - and about whether he will continue to have Brayden Schenn on the top line and Scott Hratnell on the second unit, a move he made in the third period Sunday.

       Gustafsson had an up-and-down regular season, although he led Flyers defensemen with a plus-7 rating in 31 games. He had a goal and an assist in seven playoff games in 2012.

       Asked what he has seen while watching the series from the press box, Gustafsson said, "I don't think we got them where we wanted with our forecheck. They break out the puck a little too easy."

    Slow starters

       In the first periods in this series, the Rangers have outscored the Flyers, 7-4, and outshot them, 58-40.

       "We have to have a better start and go from there," winger Wayne Simmonds said.

    The numbers

    The Flyers are 26-30 in games when they faced elimination.

    The Rangers have scored the first goal in four of the five games.

    In the series, the Flyers' power play is 4 for 16, while New York is 3 for 23.

    New York has outshot the Flyers, 152-123.

    No prediction

       Flyers captain Claude Giroux said he would not share his Game 6 prediction with the media. "I'll keep those to myself," he said with a smile.

       Giroux had predicted the Flyers would make the playoffs when they were 1-7, and that they would win Game 4 against the Rangers. He was 2 for 2 on those picks.

    - Sam Carchidi

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