The New York Rangers would be sitting in a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division, but the margin of error is much smaller in the highly competitive Metropolitan. Coming off their first home victory of 2017, the Rangers attempt to extend their winning streak to four games when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has emerged from an ugly slump to spark the turnaround for New York, which won twice at Philadelphia this season to extend its winning streak to five games in the series. “The teams that are winning more than one game, you look at those teams, and the one common denominator is goaltending,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. Madison Square Garden has been a house of horrors for the Flyers, who have won only once in their last 12 visits to New York. Philadelphia did end another drought Sunday in neighboring Brooklyn, topping the New York Islanders 3-2 in overtime to halt a nine-game skid (0-7-2) away from home.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
LINE HISTORY: The Rangers’ moneyline, as of Wednesday morning, is ranging from -155 to -175. The total is at 5.5 goals. Check out the complete line history here.
Flyers – No injuries to report.
Rangers – RW K. Hayes (Mid Feb, lower body), RW J. Fast (Early Feb, upper body), D M. Staal (Out Indefinitely, concussion), G A. Raanta (Questionable, lower body).
ABOUT THE FLYERS (23-19-6, 24-17 O/U): Captain Claude Giroux halted a 12-game goalless drought by delivering the game-winner in OT against the Islanders, but he has tallied only six times in 43 meetings with the Rangers. “I think we were searching for a big win, and hopefully that was a win to get us over the hump,” Giroux said. Wayne Simmonds also scored for only the second time in 11 games, his team-leading 19th tally, to lift Philadelphia to its fourth win in 16 games since rattling off 10 straight victories.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (31-16-1, 26-18 O/U): Lundqvist was dented for 16 goals in three appearances during a five-day span, but he has bounced back by permitting four tallies during a three-start winning streak, including a 1-0 overtime shutout of Detroit. “He’s our most important player. We didn’t give him good enough help for a stretch there,” forward Mats Zuccarello said of Lindqvist. He’s, in my opinion, the best goalie in the world.” Lundqvist has dominated the Flyers with a 33-13-4 record and four shutouts.
ICE GIRLS BATTLE:
The Rangers don’t have Ice Girls, so we’ll just go with a random “fan”.
– Flyers are 1-9 in their last 10 road games.
– Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
– Over is 5-0-1 in Flyers last 6 Wednesday games.
– Over is 17-3-8 in Rangers last 28 vs. Metropolitan.
– Road team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 75 percent of moneyline wagers on Covers are siding with the home favorite New York Rangers while 62 percent like the Over 5.5 goals. View full consensus data here.