Rangers Host Flyers As Season Heads To Must-Win Territory

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Following consecutive blowout losses to the Islanders and Penguins, the Rangers will look to get back in the win column tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.The Blueshirts are looking to break a three-game losing streak against the Broad Street Bullies, having lost 2-1 against the Golden Knights, and by a combined 12-4 against the aforementioned Islanders and Penguins. The Rangers need the two points in regulation tonight to get themselves back on track.

Keys to Victory

Keep It Simple Stupid – The Rangers have gotten burned all season by not making the simple, straight-ahead play. Whether it is making the extra pass that doesn’t result in a shot, trying to stickhandle in your own zone, or simply not playing a north-south game, the Rangers need to get back to basics on the ice to have success. And as we said on Tilted Ice Live, passing up chances and/or trying to do too much with the puck doesn’t work enough of the time to justify its use. By being unselfish and making the extra pass on a 2v1, you are taking the risk of the defender blocking the pass or having the pass being missed by the other forward. If you shoot, the worst thing that happens, aside from missing the net, is the goalie makes a save and you get a faceoff. Simple, straightforward hockey is what the Rangers need to do to get their game going in the right direction.

Forecheck! – One thing the Blueshirts haven’t done much of this season is forecheck. This is not to say that the Rangers don’t get any sustained pressure over the course of a game. But when you look at the last two games, and you see the Islanders and Penguins dominating play for minutes at a time, you get the sense that this team is going to be defending for a majority of the game. And that means it all falls on Henrik Lundqvist or Ondrej Pavelec to come up with save after save. So on behalf of the goaltenders, I offer this meme to the 18 skaters outside the blue paint.

Players to Watch
New York Rangers

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Michael Grabner – Aside from Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers have not been playing well. But if you are looking for a bright spot, it would be Michael Grabner. The Austrian winger has a team-leading 19 goals on the year and has been one of the only players to put in consistent efforts night after night.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

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Claude Giroux – It’s the obvious choice, but the Flyers captain has led the team to wins in five of their last six games. Giroux has eleven points in those six games, ten of which have been assists. Giroux is an offensive threat in his own right, but when he gets his teammates involved in the scoring, he becomes that much more of a dangerous player.

Puck drops at 7!

LETS GO RANGERS!!

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