Flyers face Rangers with second place on line

Derek Dorsett
The Rangers and Flyers will face off Wednesday with huge playoff implications and seeding on the line.
Credit: Getty Images

While you’ll never get them to admit it, here’s a fact of NHL life.

Not all two points are created equal.

No, you don’t get extra credit for beating the first place Penguins or Bruins rather than last place Edmonton or Nashville. But don’t believe there’s not a psychological effect if not a tangible difference. The same applies when facing teams in your own division, especially since the two points you get are two points the opposition doesn’t get — or one point should it come down to overtime or a shootout.

Which brings us to the Flyers and Rangers tonight at the Garden, where Philadelphia has come up empty its last seven trips, stretching back to February, 2011. During that span they’ve been outscored a mind boggling 28-8, including a 4-1 loss January 12 when former Flyers enforcer Dan Carcillo scored early to jump start his new team and his old one never recovered.

With the two teams seemingly headed on a first round playoff collision course, where home ice could make the difference, this one takes on even greater significance. The Rangers’ 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over Phoenix Monday, coupled with the gracious host Flyers’ 3-2 loss to old pals Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and the Kings, has bumped Broadway’s team a point over Broad Street’s into second place in the Metropolitan.

But keep in mind regardless of what happens in this one, the Flyers still hold two games in hand. Of course that would be a lot more comforting — not to mention confidence boosting for the post-season — if they can win or at least salvage a point getting it to overtime tonight.

“It’s a tough building to play in, MSG,’’ said Scott Hartnell, who needs a goal to reach his seventh 20-goal season. “They’re playing good hockey as well so we’re going to have our hands full. We’re going to need big efforts from our best players and we need to play a clean game.”

As for his team’s less than sterling track record in Henrik Lundqvist’s home turf, Craig Berube insists that’s all in the past.

“We’re a different team than we were,’’ said Berube, who undoubtedly will go with Steve Mason in net, after Ray Emery played well — but not well enough vs. the Kings. “I don’t even think about that. We’re going to go up there and give them our best game. That’s what I believe.”

He also has to gain confidence from the Flyers 4-2 home win March 1, since it was the first time they’d beaten Lundqvist more than three times since December 18, 2010. They’ve been on a roll ever since, going 7-1-1, before stumbling Monday.

They’re hoping that was just a momentary glitch, knowing there’s still work to be done before the post season gets underway.

“We’ve got to make sure we got to be ready in New York,’’ said Jake Voracek, who joined Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read in the 20-goal club, with Hartnell and Brayden Schenn (18) next in line. “If we played the way that we played today for 40 minutes in the Garden we’ll get beat 5-0. We’ve got to make sure that we are ready to play and it’s going to be a great game.”

After tonight the Flyers take on Toronto Friday, then the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins at home in a Sunday matinee, before finishing with five of their last eight on the road. But as the battle for playoff positioning moves into the home stretch, the intensity will only continue to ratchet up

“I don’t care who we play against, we’ve got to look at what we do,’’ said Kimmo Timonen, who was victimized on Dwight King’s game winner midway through the third. “We didn’t play well enough to win tonight. We’ve got to move on and play way better on Wednesday.’’

Because these two points might be the most important ones all season.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.