Thursday, October 24, 2013
W2W4: Rangers @ Flyers
By Katie Strang
At a glance: The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers meet in Philly for a divisional clash between two teams desperate to turn their seasons around. While the Rangers have stumbled to a 2-5-0 record to start the season, the Flyers are in arguably worse shape. Not only was Peter Laviolette fired after just three games, but the team hasn’t been much better under new coach Craig Berube. Philadelphia has managed only one win since Berube took over; their 1-7-0 record is dead-last in the league.
Missing royalty: The big news for the Rangers is who will be in between the pipes. Henrik Lundqvist will miss Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury that has been hampering him the last 10 days, clearing the way for 26-year-old Cam Talbot to get his first NHL start. Lundqvist, who missed the last three days of Rangers practice, will not be available to make up, either. The Rangers are expected to recall Jason Missiaen to back up Talbot, who had a strong training camp and went 4-0-1 with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), posting a 2.49 goals against average and .924 save percentage.
Opportunity for Kreider: Sent down to the minors after an “average” training camp, 22-year-old offensive prospect Chris Kreider has been summoned in wake of some costly injuries (Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin) to the team. It appears he will get the opportunity to play top-six minutes as well. Kreider skated in practice this week with first-line center Derek Stepan and veteran Brad Richards.
Lineup changes: Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who missed Saturday’s game against New Jersey as a healthy scratch, is back in the lineup Thursday with depth blue-liner Justin Faulk expected to sit. Also, reports out of Philadelphia indicate that Norwegian winger Mats Zuccarello will be scratched in favor of Brandon Mashinter.
Flyers notes: Similar to the Rangers' long stretch without a game, the Flyers have had an entire week since their last outing -- a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh. Veteran Vinny Lecavalier is due to return from injury and is slated to appear at right wing on the team’s top line with Claude Giroux. Injured forward Scott Hartnell will not play Thursday, according to multiple reports.