(Sports Network) - After suffering three straight regulation defeats, the
Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their first win of the shortened season on
Thursday when they host the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center.
If recent history is any indication the Rangers have an excellent
chance at keeping the Flyers winless. New York won all six meetings against
Philadelphia in 2011-12 and has taken eight straight in this series overall.
The Rangers also have won the last four meetings in Philadelphia and the
Flyers haven't beat New York at home since Dec. 18, 2010.
The Flyers have been outscored by a combined 11-3 margin during their 0-3
start and are coming off Tuesday's 3-0 setback in New Jersey. Devils
goaltender Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots to earn his 120th career shutout
and his 10th against the Flyers.
"I think we came out with the right attitude tonight just not the right
result," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "I think there's a lot of little
things (we can do) and we'll continue to look at it and work at it."
The game was a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference semifinal series,
which New Jersey won in five games en route to a trip to the Stanley Cup
Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all three goals on 26 shots for the Flyers, who have
dropped their first three games in regulation for the first time since the
lockout-shortened 1995 season. The last time Philadelphia went four games into
a season without a win was in 1991-92, when it went 0-3 with a tie.
The Rangers were able to earn their first win of the campaign on Wednesday
night thanks to Marian Gaborik, who capped his hat trick just 27 seconds into
overtime to give New York a 4-3 triumph over the Boston Bruins.
In the extra session, Andrew Ference couldn't handle a pass at the right point
and the puck slid into the neutral zone. Gaborik tapped it ahead and caught up
to the puck in the Boston end. His first shot was stopped, but he banged the
rebound out of mid-air for his 14th career hat trick.
"I just tried to chip it in front of me and keep it from bouncing," said
Gaborik. "I got a good shot off on the first try and he made the stop, but
fortunately I was able to get some wood on the rebound."
Gaborik led all Rangers in scoring with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in
six games against the Flyers last season.
Taylor Pyatt scored the other goal while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots for
the Rangers, who avoided a second straight three-loss start to a campaign.
Flyers forward Scott Hartnell could miss some time with an injured foot after
getting hit with a shot from teammate Kimmo Timonen on Tuesday. Hartnell, who
led Philly with 37 goals last season, is expected to miss Thursday's game and
is considered out indefinitely.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Philadelphia's Danny Briere is scheduled to
undergo an x-ray on Thursday to check out his broken left wrist and the
forward could make his season debut this weekend.
The Flyers also will be without forward Brayden Schenn for Thursday's game
after he was suspended for a high hit on Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
The Sports Network