Series (Game 5 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Saturday, December 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 30th
Game 3: Thursday, January 21st
Game 4: Sunday, March 14th
Game 5: Friday, April 9th
Game 6: Sunday, April 11th

Flyers 3

(40-35-6, 86 pts)

Rangers 4

(38-33-10, 86 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:00 PM ET, April 9, 2010

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 T
PHI 1 2 03
NYR 2 2 04

M. Gaborik (Rangers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Richards (Flyers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

H. Lundqvist (Rangers - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .889

Flyers-Rangers Preview


The New York Rangers' late surge has given them an improbable chance to grab a playoff spot. They will have to do it against a Philadelphia Flyers team that's on the verge of a postseason berth of its own.

The Rangers can secure a trip to the playoffs with a sweep of a season-ending home-and-home set with the Flyers, and will try to take the first step Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

New York (37-33-10) has gone 6-1-1 since a three-game skid that appeared to sink its playoff hopes. The hot stretch has put the Rangers in position to make the playoffs by sweeping the Flyers this weekend.

If New York wins both games, with at least one coming in regulation, it will make the postseason for the second straight year.

"It's fun to be here," the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist said after making 26 saves in a 5-1 victory over Toronto on Wednesday. "A couple of weeks ago I thought we were out, but we never gave up and we're back in the race. The whole season comes down to the last two games."

The Rangers won in their return home after a six-game trip, and will look to continue their roll in their season finale at MSG. Even if it does not sweep, New York could get into the postseason if Boston falls apart.

"We wanted to make the Philly games count -- and they do now," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "You don't have to look at the board anymore. It is in front of us now."

Erik Christensen scored two of New York's three first-period goals as Tortorella's team took advantage of the Maple Leafs, the last-place team in the Eastern Conference.

While the Rangers are hot, they will be facing a Flyers club that has won back-to-back games since a 1-6-1 slump that put its playoff hopes in jeopardy. Philadelphia (40-34-6) could have clinched a postseason berth with a Rangers loss in regulation Wednesday.

The Flyers can end the suspense with a regulation victory Friday or Sunday afternoon, when the teams close out their seasons.

Philadelphia also benefited from facing Toronto in its last game, winning 2-0 on Tuesday behind Brian Boucher's 23 saves.

"They're all big right now ... the next game's always the biggest one," forward Claude Giroux said after recording a goal for the second straight game and adding an assist.

The Flyers could get a major boost this weekend from leading goal scorer Jeff Carter, who was cleared to return to practice and could be available Friday. Carter, with 33 goals and a team high-tying 60 points, has not played since fracturing his left foot March 21 against Atlanta.

"Jeff had his MRI this morning and he is healing up nicely," general manager Paul Holmgren told the team's official Web site. "He completed his off-ice rehab and conditioning today and will practice with the team Thursday."

The season series between New York and Philadelphia is tied 2-2, with each club winning once on the road. The Rangers took the most recent meeting 3-1 at home March 14.