The Flyers enter tonight atop the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference with 61 points and Philly has a 5-1-0 record so far in January. The Rangers, meanwhile, have won four of their last six outings and are currently third in the division and six points in back of the Flyers.
Philadelphia has posted a pair of 4-1 victories over the Rangers this season, but tonight marks the first meeting at MSG. New York has lost three straight and five of seven overall in this series, but the Blueshirts have taken two in a row and four of the last five encounters at the Garden.
The Flyers have won two out of three tests on a four-game road trip that ends tonight. Philly has an impressive 15-5-3 record away from home and is leading the NHL in road victories this season.
After dropping a wild 7-5 decision in Boston on Thursday, the Flyers rebounded with a win the following night in Atlanta. Danny Briere notched the game- winner in a three-goal third period as Philadelphia rolled past the Thrashers, 5-2, at Philips Arena.
Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter both posted a goal and an assist for the Flyers. Jody Shelley and Kimmo Timonen also lit the lamp, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27-of-29 shots for the win as Philadelphia, which leads the Atlantic by just one point over Pittsburgh.
"I thought everybody played well. I thought we controlled the game from the start to the finish," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "It took until the third period, but after the travel down here, and playing last night in an up-and-down game in Boston, I was really happy to see the way we played the game today."
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who has been out since suffering a broken right foot on Dec. 15, has returned to practice but there is no timetable for his return to action. The star blueliner has missed the last 11 games and has been ruled out for tonight's game and Tuesday's home test against Washington.
The Rangers have lost two of their last three games and both of those setbacks came against Montreal. New York lost to the Canadiens in New York on Monday and after defeating Vancouver on Thursday, the Rangers lost Saturday's test in Montreal.
The Canadiens recorded a pair of one-goal regulation wins over the Rangers this week. Montreal notched a 2-1 victory on Monday and claimed Saturday's battle by a 3-2 margin. Carey Price made 20 of his 31 saves in a furious third period on Saturday as Montreal held off the Rangers at Bell Centre.
"After the first two, as a whole, we were slow on the puck," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It took us a couple of periods to get going. They're a quick team. We never got near the puck. We were just that slow. But in the third we got our legs underneath us and got to the game we needed to play. That's chip-em, grind and try to hold the neutral zone."
Tonight marks the first of two straight on home ice for the Habs, who are 11-9-2 at MSG this season and have won three of their last four as the host.