At a glance: Separated by one point and one spot in the Eastern Conference standings, the eight-place Flyers and ninth-place Rangers square off Tuesday night (7:30 ET) at Madison Square Garden in the division rivals’ third meeting of the season. The Rangers conclude a four-game home stand against their division rivals following an important win over the Sabres on Sunday. The Blueshirts rallied after a vicious hit from Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta injured veteran center Brad Richards in the third period and went on to edge Buffalo 3-2 in the shootout. Meanwhile, the Flyers have won five of their past seven games.
Getting streaky: Both teams are aiming to string together three straight wins Tuesday. That would match the longest streak of the season for the Rangers. The Flyers have yet to collect three straight wins this year.
Richards to return? Although Richards skated with the team Tuesday morning after missing Monday’s practice, he didn’t stay on the ice for long, making his status doubtful. The Rangers also recalled bruiser Micheal Haley from the AHL, a good indication that Richards will not play.
Big boost: Since returning to the lineup Thursday, Rick Nash has provided the Rangers’ offense a needed spark. The dynamic winger has contributed two goals and two assists after being sidelined four games with an undisclosed injury (believed to be a concussion).
Tough times: The Flyers kick off a trying week with their road game at the Garden. Following Tuesday’s match, the Flyers face two of the toughest teams in the East: Pittsburgh in Philly on Thursday and Boston on the road Saturday.
Kaleta suspended: The Rangers received some satisfaction Monday when Kaleta was hit with a five-game suspension for his hit on Richards. Kaleta will pay a hefty sum as a repeat offender, forfeiting $76,219.25 in salary.
Power surge: An anemic Rangers power play has shown signs of life lately. The team cashed in on two of four man-up opportunities on Sunday against the Sabres; both goals were scored during the five-minute major issued to Kaleta following his hit.
Missing in action: The Flyers will be without forwards Harry Zolnierczyk (suspension) and Matt Read (rib injury) and defenseman Andrej Meszaros (shoulder). The Rangers will be without rugged fourth-liner (and former Flyer) Arron Asham (back).