National Hockey League
Preview
Philadelphia at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 17, 2014
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

A pair of Metropolitan Division rivals meet in the postseason for the first time in 17 years when the Philadelphia Flyers visit the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Thursday. Both clubs enter the seven-game set with plenty of injuries - notably goaltender Steve Mason (upper body), who will miss Thursday's tilt after he was on the wrong end of a collision during Philadelphia's victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Ray Emery has been confirmed to start for the Flyers, who split their four-game season series with the Rangers - with each team emerging victorious twice at home.

Winning at Madison Square Garden has been troublesome for Philadelphia, which has dropped eight in a row in New York since posting a 4-2 triumph on Feb. 20, 2011. "We are due in Madison Square Garden," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "... Since I've been here, we haven't won there." Home-ice advantage isn't exactly a boon for the Rangers, who have won just 20 games at MSG this season - with only Detroit (18) having fewer victories at home among the playoff teams.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, CSN (Philadelphia), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE FLYERS (42-30-10, 3rd in Metropolitan Division): Wayne Simmonds and captain Claude Giroux finished the regular season with a flourish, with the former claiming the team lead in goals (29) and the latter ending up in the top three in the league in points (86). Philadelphia boasts plenty of depth among its forwards as an NHL-best seven players reached the 20-goal plateau. Promising Matt Read was one of the seven, and collected a goal and two assists against New York this season.

ABOUT THE RANGERS (45-31-6, 2nd in Metropolitan Division): New York has its own injury concerns, although both forward Derick Brassard and defenseman Ryan McDonagh look to be ready for Thursday. Brassard told reporters that he feels "100 percent" after dealing with a balky back, despite making a premature exit from practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday. McDonagh declared that he has full range of motion in his left shoulder - an injury that sidelined him for the final five games of the regular season.

OVERTIME

1. New York G Henrik Lundqvist owns an impressive 27-13-3 career mark against Philadelphia.

2. Emery is 7-2-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average versus the Rangers but yielded all four goals in a 4-1 setback on Jan. 12.

3. In their last postseason meeting, Philadelphia dispatched New York in five games to advance to the Stanley Cup final in 1997. The Flyers promptly were swept by the Red Wings.

SERIES PREDICTION: Rangers in 5

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Philadelphia 42-30-2-8 L1 24-14-0-3 18-16-2-5 10-5-0-4 32-25-2-4 15-11-1-3
NY Rangers 45-31-3-3 L1 20-17-2-2 25-14-1-1 5-3-0-0 40-28-3-3 ---
Last Meeting
Philadelphia NY Rangers
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/26/14 PHI 1 NYR 3 31 26 0-2 29 30 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Philadelphia C. Giroux 1
NY Rangers B. Boyle 1
Goals Player  
Philadelphia J. Voracek 1
NY Rangers D. Dorsett 1
Assists Player  
Philadelphia C. Giroux 1
NY Rangers B. Boyle 1
Saves Player  
Philadelphia S. Mason 26
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 30
Season
Total Points Player  
Philadelphia C. Giroux 88
NY Rangers M. Zuccarello 61
Goals Player  
Philadelphia W. Simmonds 30
NY Rangers R. Nash 26
Assists Player  
Philadelphia C. Giroux 59
NY Rangers M. Zuccarello 42
Saves Player  
Philadelphia S. Mason 1654
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 1745
Quickchart Matchup
Philadelphia Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.84 GF
2.32 GA
30.4 Shots
29.4 Shots
58 PP
34 PK
NY Rangers Off vs  Philadelphia Def
2.61 GF
2.77 GA
33.2 Shots
30.6 Shots
48 PP
48 PK