Thursday, January 24, 2013
W2W4: Rangers at Flyers
By Katie Strang
At a glance: After starting the season 0-2-0, the Rangers beat Boston 4-3 in overtime Wednesday thanks to Marian Gaborik's hat trick, including the game-winner. The Flyers, however, are still searching for their first win of the season after a disconcerting 0-3-0 start. To make matters worse? The injuries keep piling up for Philly, making Thursday's test even tougher against a Rangers squad that won all six games to sweep the series last season.
Power line: The formidable first line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash, starting together for the first time, was sensational in the Rangers' overtime win against the Bruins. The trio produced three goals and two assists, while showing instant chemistry. Think they'll be back together again Thursday? Count on it.
Hartnell down: Besides the Flyers' decimated blue line, Scott Hartnell's injury is perhaps the greatest concern for the struggling team. Hartnell, coming off a career year of 37 goals and 30 assists, is out indefinitely with a left foot injury suffered in the a 3-1 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday. Veteran center Danny Briere is also still sidelined with a fractured left wrist and is not expected to return until this weekend, at the earliest.
Taylor made: Scoring depth might prove to be an issue for the Rangers, but Taylor Pyatt has made the most of his first three games with the team. The 31-year-old winger, who inked a two-year deal as a free agent this summer, has added two goals and has already earned a promotion. The 6-4, 235-pound Pyatt replaced a struggling Chris Kreider on the second line, joining center Derek Stepan and captain Ryan Callahan on Wednesday.
Schenn suspended: Flyers forward Brayden Schenn will be out for Thursday's game against the Rangers while serving his one-game suspension for his charging hit on New Jersey's Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday night.
Growing pains: Kreider has struggled through the first three games of the season, leaving his spot on the roster in jeopardy. The 21-year-old winger was limited to 7:21 of ice time Wednesday, including just one shift in each the second and third period. Coach John Tortorella expressed concern about Kreider's development and did not rule out sending him back to the AHL for more seasoning.
Connecticut call-up: The Rangers recalled gritty forward Kris Newbury, presumably as either insurance or as a replacement for rugged winger Arron Asham, who missed Wednesday's game with a mild groin strain.
Minor league swap: The Rangers made a minor league deal with the Penguins, trading forward Chad Kolarik to Pittsburgh for Benn Ferriero. Kolarik, who could be a call-up guy for the Rangers, has four goals and 14 assists in 34 games for the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.