BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW YORK RANGERS (14-6-1) @ PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (9-9-3)
GAMES THAT MATTER
Today’s game against the Flyers marks the beginning of an important stretch of the schedule for the Rangers. Their next six games are against Eastern Conference opponents with four of the six games against Metropolitan Division rivals.
Rick Nash scored in both games against Pittsburgh earlier this week and enters Friday’s contest full of confidence. He’s had his way against the Flyers in previous matchups, recording nine goals and nine assists in 22 career games vs. Philadelphia. In 15 games as a Ranger, Nash has tallied seven goals and five assists against Philly.
The Blueshirts have enjoyed great success on the road this season and have won five of their last six road games (5-1-0). They’ve outscored opponents on the road 34-20.
GOALS AND MORE GOALS
The Rangers have lit up the scoreboard through the early part of the 2016-17 campaign and lead the NHL in goals scored with 82 this season. The Flyers have surrendered more goals (70) than any other team in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is tied for second in the NHL with 65 goals scored, so expect the goaltenders to get a serious workout in this one.
The Flyers’ forwards are putting up some impressive numbers. Wayne Simmonds is leading the way with 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points, while Jakub Voracek (7 goals, 10 assists), Claude Giroux (4 goals, 13 assists) and Brayden Schenn (3 goals, 10 assists) have each been consistent offensive threats.