2012-2013 Records: Flyers (2-4), Rangers (2-3)
NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (5-3-8)
PHI Leading Scorer: Claude Giroux (2-2-2)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (5 GP, 3.14 GAA, .893 SV%)
PHI Goaltender: Ilya Bryzgalov (5 GP, 2.22 GAA, .923 SV%)
Preview: The Flyers have struggled out of the gate and they are one of many teams looking to find consistency in this abbreviated season. They followed up their victory over the Rangers last week with an absolute destruction of the Florida Panthers, whom they beat 7-1. One night later they got lit up in Tampa 5-1.
Other than their dominant win over the Panthers, the Flyers have given up at least one goal on the penalty kill every game this season. The Rangers need to capitalize on this and start banging away pucks on those 5-on-4s and 5-on-3s. Though, I’m confident the Rangers can turn around their PP misfortunes. I mean hey, even the Red Wings and Kings can’t score on the PP. It’s still early.
As for the Flyers on ice strategy, Laviolette throws two different looks at the opposition. The first look is the 2-1-2 forecheck, which the Rangers utilize as well. This is an aggressive system designed to create pressure below the dots and cause turnovers down low.
Once the Flyers get a lead, they tend to switch to a more conservative 2-3 left wing lock. This system also sends two forecheckers into the zone, but the third forward sits back with the defense up high. This ensures protection against odd man rushes, but also provides some pressure to create turnovers. Since the two teams play a similar system, the Rangers need their defensemen to time their pinches well and keep the puck in Philadelphia’s endzone.
Fun Fact: Flyers coach Peter Laviolette addresses his team in the locker room after each game. John Tortorella does not.
Crazy Thought: It’s a power play goal!
Opposition Blog: Flyers Fan Central