Flyers vs. Rangers preview: This could be ugly...

Bruce Bennett

Something has to give tonight as the Flyers and Rangers take the ice in South Philly.

The Flyers are the 29th ranked scoring team in the NHL. They've scored 1.38 goals per game this season, and only the awful Buffalo Sabres have scored fewer per game at 1.27.

The New York Rangers are the 30th ranked defensive team in the NHL. They've allowed 4.14 goals per game this season, and they're running away in the category. 29th ranked Edmonton has allowed 3.9 goals per game.

These two teams will be on the ice tonight at Wells Fargo Center. It's probably gonna get weird.

Rangers_blue_mediumFlyers_orange_medium
New York Rangers (2-5-0, 4 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (1-7-0, 2 pts)
7 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
TV: CSN Philly, MSG | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the New York perspective at Blueshirt Banter

As we wrote yesterday, the Rangers are devastated by injuries, to say the least. They'll be without captain Ryan Callahan, top-line sniper Rick Nash, forward Carl Hagelin and goalie Henrik Lundqvist tonight.

Lundqvist is the obvious negative for the Rangers, but to be frank, he's been bad this season. He's played every game for New York and well ... you already read about how many goals they've given up per game. Cam Talbot will get the start instead, and it's his NHL debut. It's really impossible to know what we'll see from the kid, who's looked good in three years at the AHL level since leaving college in 2010.

Callahan and Nash being out are probably the biggest negatives for New York, though. Nash in particular killed the Flyers last season, scoring four goals and two assists in five games, but Callahan wasn't too shabby against Philly either, scoring three goals and two assists in those same five games.

So, NYR's lineup looks weak tonight. That's a break for the Flyers, who certainly need to catch a few of those.

Vincent Lecavalier, who has arguably been the Flyers best forward in the games he's played this season, rejoins the team tonight. Vinny will play on right side with Claude Giroux at center and Michael Raffl on the left side. Four solid lines right there, all of which can score, unless Berube decides to throw Jay Rosehill in to (pointlessly) counter Derek Dorsett. We're expecting him to be a scratch as he's been skating with the extras the last few days in practice.

Steve Mason is expected to get the start in goal for the Flyers. The defensive units look the same.

It's a whole new look up front and combining that with six full days off will hopefully spark the Flyers offense. Lord knows the Rangers are a good team to capitalize on right now -- and hey, a win in regulation means the Flyers move out of the basement in the Metropolitan Division. That'd be nice.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. on CSN and 97.5 FM in the Delaware Valley, MSG in the NYC area and live streaming on NHL GameCenter everywhere else. Our game discussion thread will be up two hours before puck drop.

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