Rangers face surprisingly good Flyers in Friday matinee

NHL: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After a very forgettable loss in Dallas on Monday, the New York Rangers are hoping to follow up Wednesday’s 1-0 victory against one divisional rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, with a post-Thanksgiving win against another, the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers occupy fourth place in the Metro standings going into today’s afternoon game. Under John Tortorella, the Flyers have been playing better hockey than they have in recent years; hence the Blueshirts must be wary not to play today’s game with a laissez-faire attitude, just assuming they’ll come out on top.

Wednesday night’s game featured all the excitement we’re learning to expect from this Blueshirts team, with a heated battle between the two goalies — Jonathan Quick and Tristan Jarry — and chances on both sides for special teams to gain control of the game and build a commanding lead. In the end, neither team was able to take advantage of its power play opportunities, with the lone goal being scored off an even strength, top-shelf snipe early in the game by Alexis Lafreniere, who is beginning to establish himself as a confident, shoot-first forward for New York.

Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (13-3-1) vs Philadelphia Flyers (10-8-1)
Date/Time: November 24, 2023 @ 1:00 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center
TV: MSG, NHLN, NBCSP
Radio: ESPN 1050 AM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Rangers in prime playoff position at Thanksgiving

New York Rangers Projected Lineup

new york rangers artemi panarin
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With Adam Fox still ineligible to return and Filip Chytil yet to resume skating, expect a similar lineup to Wednesday night. Although Jonathan Quick his career 60th shutout against the Pens, Igor Shesterkin will presumably be in net today as the team is set for a back-to-back playing Boston tomorrow. Please note this is subject to change and will be updated as necessary.

Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Bonino – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Pitlick

Miller – Trouba
Lindgren – Gustafsson
Jones – Schneider

Shesterkin
Quick

Update: Per multiple reports, Igor Shesterkin starts, and Filip Chytil has begun skating.

New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers

As per the New York Rangers, the Blueshirts hit Thanksgiving with the third most points (27) and wins (13) in the NHL. Since October 21st, the Rangers have an 11-1-1 record for 23 points. Their .794 points percentage is second in the league, behind Boston’s .861 mark. On the year, New York is 6-1-0 against Eastern Conference opponents and 4-1-0 against Metro Division teams.

As for the Flyers, their best winning streak since the 2019-20 season with five straight victories came to an end on Thanksgiving Eve. With former Rangers head coach John Tortorella now at the helm, Philadelphia lost 3-2 on the road to the Islanders Wednesday night.

For the first time in six games, Philadelphia trailed early and had to chase their opponent for the remainder of the game. They fell behind just 1:49 minutes into the action, and yet could never draw even. The Flyers ended up dropping to 1-4-1 in games decided by one goal — something to take note of for New York, who have six victories so far this season in one-goal decisions.

Starting Philadelphia net minder Carter Hart has surrendered three or fewer goals in nine of his 10 decisions to date, allowing his team to build leads and not surrender them easily. Though Rangers’ goaltending has been superb this season no matter who’s been in net, scoring against this Flyers’ defense and goaltending may not prove easy. Relevant, though, is that the Blueshirts have allowed the second fewest GA/GP (2.29) in the NHL and the second fewest total goals (39) in the league.

The Flyers had been hoping to enter today’s contest versus the division leader while still on a hot winning streak; but their Thanksgiving Eve loss to the Islanders may instead give them added impetus to compete hard against the Blueshirts in this Friday matinee.

The Rangers will not hold a morning skate today. New York head coach Peter Laviolette will be available to media outside the team’s locker room at 10:40 AM ET today.

Deborah Seymour grew up in New York City and studied in the City University of New York system for... More about Deborah Seymour