Heading into tonight's game at MSG, the Flyers are aware that history is not on their side as they've lost five straight at The Garden and are just 1-8 in their last nine games against the Rangers.
The Flyers say they will try to use the bitter rivalry as motivation tonight (via CSN Philly).
“Well, every game against the Rangers is a big game,” Briere said. “I think they’re right around us, a few points behind us in the standings.
“They have some games in hand. The rivalry makes it more fun. We all know what happened last year. We’re trying to rectify that.”
“They’re a solid team,” Simmonds said of the Rangers. “They all stick with the program. They all block a lot of shots and they make it tough for you to get to the net.
“Obviously, we’re going to have to battle through that. It’s going to be a good blue-collar game, and we have to be strong in the corners and strong in our defensive zone.”
The Flyers currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot, one point ahead of the Rangers. However the Blueshirts have three games in hand.
The Rangers seem prepared for the surging Flyers, who have won three of their last four games overall, as Carl Hagelin said this about tonight's game (via Blueshirts United)…
"Philly is going to be a lot more physical game than it was against Buffalo, so we need to come out with more speed, more power, and we have to be more aggressive. We didn't have enough hits nor enough blocked shots last game. So we have to come out and play Rangers hockey."
…Rangers have been playing out of their division for almost a month now so it's nice to get a rivalry game tonight. Gives it a little more juice. At least for me it does.
…as far as the Rangers recent dominance over the Flyers, I'm throwing that stuff out the window. This is a different season and the Flyers are hot right now. I've actually been shocked at how tame the first two Rangers/Flyers games have been this season. I have to wonder how the Rangers will hold-up physically if the Flyers decide to take the body. Tonight would be one of the few nights I wish Asham was healthy so that both him and Bickel can be in the line-up just to try and keep the peace. Toughness will be tested for sure.