Rangers vs Flyers: Zac Jones in, Alexis Lafrenière moved to the top line, and Igor Shesterkin to start

By Anthony Scultore
Alexis Lafreniere getting ice time (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rangers vs Flyers: There’s no time to lament the loss to the Islanders. The New York Rangers need to gather themselves and beat the Flyers tonight. They will do so with a brand new defensive pairing and some line changes.

Rangers: 23-17-6 (52 pts)
Flyers: 20-18-7 (47 pts)

(7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM)

Rangers vs Flyers at Madison Square Garden

new york rangers
Apr 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Igor Shesterkin #31 and Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers celebrate their 4-0 shutout against the New Jersey Devilsat Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

David Quinn announced yesterday that he would be going right back to Igor Shesterkin for tonight’s tilt. I would expect Alexandar Georgiev to play the second game against the Flyers which is a back-to-back situation tomorrow. Shesty’s career numbers versus Philadelphia are 1-2 with a 3.06 GAA. That’s not great, but his SV% is .925. If the Blueshirts can limit shots he will be just fine.

Zac Jones will be making his debut tonight and he will be partnered with Libor Hajek. Anthony Bitetto comes out of the lineup and Jacob Trouba is injured.

Another significant lineup move will see Alexis Lafrenière moved up to the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. Chris Kreider is now on the third line with Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko. There’s no doubt that Kreider has struggled to product 5 on 5 for a long time now and this move was overdue.

Rangers Milestones

  • Artemi Panarin – 1 assist away from 100 with the Rangers
  • Ryan Strome – 2 points away from 300 in his NHL career
  • Mika Zibanejad – 6 games away from 600 in his NHL career; 8 goals away from 200 in his NHL career
  • Pavel Buchnevich – 8 games away from 300 in his NHL career/with the Rangers

Rangers Pre Game Notes

  • All-Time: 135-124-37-10 (70-52-23-6 at home; 65-72-14-4 on the road)
  • The Rangers have won six of their last seven home games (6-1-0 record), and have outscored opponents, 39-17, over the span. New York has also earned at least one point in eight of its last nine home games (7-1-1 record).
  • Beginning with the game following their loss on Mar. 11 at Boston, the Blueshirts have posted a 7-1-0 record in the game following a loss.
  • Since Mar. 13, the Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL in wins (13; 13-5-3 record), are tied for third in points (29), rank first in goals (84), and rank second in goal differential (plus-32; doesn’t include team goals awarded for shootout wins) and goals per game (4.00).
  • The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has four players who have recorded 40 or more points this season (Panarin, Strome, Fox, Buchnevich). In addition, the Rangers are one of only two NHL teams that have four players who have tallied 16 or more goals in 2020-21 (along with Florida; Kreider, Buchnevich, Zibanejad, Panarin).

Notes courtesy NYR

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