Broad Street vs. Broadway in Round One

Posted: April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

One of the NHL’s most storied rivalries is about to re-energize itself.

For the first time in 17 years, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will battle in the postseason. With Philadelphia’s 4-3 overtime victory flyers-rangers1over Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon, that matchup was cemented in stone. The two teams will begin their seven-game battle either Wednesday or Thursday. With New York earning the #2 spot in the Metropolitan Division, they’ll have home-ice advantage.

Philadelphia triumphed over Pittsburgh thanks in large part due to the play of their first line. Claude Giroux (28 goals, 57 assists) continued his assault on Penguins’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, scoring once and recording two assists. Jake Voracek (23 goals, 38 assists) also tallied twice before Mark Streit (10 goals, 32 assists) ended the game with a goal in overtime. The Flyers will need their top scorers to continue their solid play if they have any hope of overcoming their arch-rivals from up I-95. The Flyers will wrap up their regular season play tomorrow against Carolina, in a game that has been rendered moot by this afternoon’s triumph.

New York, meanwhile, concludes their season tonight in Montreal. The Rangers are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, having won 9 of 12. They’ve gone 3-2 against Philadelphia this season and haven’t lost to the Flyers at Madison Square Garden since January 16th, 2011 (8 games). They also boast one of the best goalies in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist. Still, the Rangers haven’t exactly been world beaters at home, finishing their slate at MSG a mediocre 20-17-4 (worse than non-playoff teams like New Jersey, Washington, and even Toronto).

The last time Philadelphia and New York met up during the postseason was the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals, when Eric Lindros and the Flyers dumped the Rangers in five games en route to a Stanley Cup sweep at the hands of Detroit. The Broad Street Bullies have won three consecutive series against New York (1997, 1995, and 1987), though none have been recently. The most recently significant matchup between the two teams came in 2010, when Philadelphia slayed New York in the 82nd game of the season to earn their berth in the postseason. The Flyers would go on to win the Eastern Conference, much like they did in ’97 and ’87 after dousing the Rangers’ dreams.

Who will come out on top? That’s a question for another time, as Skood Sports will provide an entire playoff prediction next week.

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