Who What Where and When: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers; Games 3 and 4 of the NHL’s first round; Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA; Tuesday, April 22, 8pm and Friday, April 25, 7pm
If you read Mc’s Pick last week,
I’m surprised you knew this was coming. The Rangers continue their playoff push with games three and four of their opening round best of seven series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Rangers absolutely must win one of these two games this week having lost game two at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers showed in game one that when they play their style, and dictate the tempo of the game to the Flyers, they will outclass their opponents; but when they allowed the Flyers to impose their will they can fall to their divisional rivals.
I doubt very many people were calling for a sweep in this series either way, so the fact they head to Pennsylvania with the series locked up at one game a piece, but the Rangers had a golden opportunity to put a stranglehold on this series slip through their fingers by letting the Flyers take game two after the Rangers dominated in game one.
The Rangers have smothered Claude Giroux so far and Flyers are still without number one goaltender Steve Mason, however backup Ray Emery has filled in admirably for Mason, so, essentially, the Flyers two biggest difference makers during the regular season have been a non factor thus far. I don’t expect Giroux to be held down as easily at home.
If the Rangers steal a game in Philly I think they’ll take this series, if they come home empty handed, they’ll have a very hard time coming back from a three games to one deficit.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best tournament that American pro sports has to offer, and this series pits two bitter rivals against one another; that’s about as can’t miss as a sporting event can get.