This is the 80th game of the Flyers seasson. Just one game. But is is infinitely more important than that. Because it really boils down to a match up of 2 men.
The hottest goalie of the season:
vs. the hottest goalie of the past month:
Can Bryzgalov and the Flyers finally get a win against the Rangers? The Rangers have had the Flyers number all season. Undefeated against Philadelphia. But the Rangers haven't faced the rejuvenated Ilya Bryzgalov. Who despite a small fracture in his foot, has been the best goalie in the NHL in March.
And the Flyers have been scoring behind him too. In the past few weeks, they've played exceptionally well. And a 6-4 win against the streaking Penguins was a bright spot for the Flyers. They came back from down 2-0 in the first period to win in convincing fashion, And after a couple of rough hits at the very end of the 3rd period, the Flyers defended their turf too. A hit on Danny Briere in retribution for a hit on Sidney Crosby led to the Flyers 1st line fight the Pittsburgh goon 4th line. But they stood up for their team mate.
The question remains. The Flyers can clearly beat their in-state rivals and likely first round opponents. They've been doing it all season. But can they beat the Rangers? A team they haven't beaten all year? A victory against the Rangers in the last week of the season would not just help out the standings, it would also help out the psyche of the Flyers. A chink in the armor as it were. The knowledge that, behind the solid goalkeeping of Bryzgalov, the Flyers can beat the Rangers in a play off game.