Though the stakes won't be as high tonight, both teams will be looking to extend winning streaks when the two Atlantic Division rivals begin their 2010-11 season series at the Wells Fargo Center.
Meeting for the second time in three days last April 11 on the 2009-10 season's final day, the two teams battled in Philadelphia to decide the final entry into the postseason. The contest was a thrilling one as it came down to a shootout.
After the two clubs both scored once in the first two rounds, Philadelphia's Claude Giroux skated in and snapped a wrister by Henrik Lundqvist. Former Ranger Olli Jokinen had a chance to extend the session, but he was turned aside by Brian Boucher as the Flyers went on the playoffs and eventually to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 2-1 victory by the Flyers gave them a split of the six-game season series with the Rangers, who have still won six of the last nine meetings overall. The teams have also split their last six in Philadelphia.
The Flyers come into this meeting riding their longest winning streak of the season, a four-game burst that was extended with Monday's 3-2 win over Carolina. Scott Hartnell scored twice, Giroux added a goal and Jeff Carter notched a pair of assists.
For Hartnell, it was his fourth goal in 12 games this year after netting just 14 in the regular season last year.
"I don't know if takes a certain player," Hartnell said when asked about working in front of the net. "A lot of people don't want to pay the price to get to the net, but that's where the goals are scored - rebounds, tips. That's where the majority of my goals are scored."
Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for the Flyers, who haven't won five straight since Feb. 8-March 2 of last season, a run that was broken up by the Winter Olympics.
Philadelphia claimed victory on Monday despite missing three regulars. Forward Danny Briere served the first contest of his three-game suspension for a hit to the head versus the Islanders on Saturday, while defenseman Andrej Meszaros (concussion) and winger Andrew Nodl (upper body) are day-to-day with injury.
The Rangers have won two straight and five of their last seven after besting the Blackhawks, 3-2, on Monday. Brandon Dubinsky scored twice and Erik Christensen notched the game-winner early in the third period.
"It was nice, it came to me there and I made a little move, and shot toward the post where the goalie was leaving," Christensen said. "Good boost for our team at the right time of the game and good boost for my confidence."
New York is 4-1-0 on the road this season.