Flyers vs. Rangers preview: Will Brad Richards be available for Tuesday night?


The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers are entering Tuesday night's contest on two-game winning streaks. Despite Rick Nash returning to the Rangers lineup, the club might be without another superstar as Brad Richards' status has yet to be announced.

The New York Rangers (10-8-2, 22 points) will host the Philadelphia Flyers (11-11-1, 23 points) at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

It will mark the third of five meetings between the two teams this season.

The Atlantic Division rivals split the first two games of this season's series, with each contest being decided by a final score of 2-1. Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has recorded a team-high three points against the Rangers (goal, two assists) while Jakub Voracek has collected two points (goal, assist). Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is the only Rangers' player with multiple points against the Flyers this season.

Ilya Bryzgalov (1-1-0, 1.52 goals against average and .936 save percentage) and Henrik Lundqvist (1-1-0, 1.51 GAA and .950 save percentage) have faced each other in both games this season.

Philadelphia will enter the contest off a five-game homestand, which saw the team compile a record of 3-2-0. After a rocky patch of games in the middle of the month, the Flyers found their stride in a contest against the New York Islanders on Feb. 18, winning 7-0. Since that contest, Philadelphia has gone 5-2-0 and outscored opponents 28-19.

That scoring boost has largely come from the red-hot play of Simmonds and Voracek. Over the course of his last eight games, Voracek has registered 15 points (six goals, nine assists), while Simmonds has compiled 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his last 10.

Captain Claude Giroux is also adding to the production, as he has collected 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last seven games.

Like Philadelphia, the Rangers will be entering the night on a two-game winning streak. After beating the Tampa Bay Lightning on the final day of February, New York managed a shootout victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday afternoon.

However, the team has gone 2-3-1 in their last six games, which potentially could have been due to the absence of superstar Rick Nash. Nash sustained an undisclosed injury that is believed to be a concussion against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 12. Despite playing in the two games after sustaining the injury, Nash was forced to miss four games beginning on Feb. 19. During that span, the Rangers went 0-3-1. The club has won their last two contests since he returned to the lineup.

Nash has registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last six games, including a goal and an assist in the two games he has played since returning from injury.

While Nash might be back in the lineup, the Rangers potentially could be without another of their star players. Brad Richards was hit from behind by Buffalo forward Patrick Kaleta on Sunday. While Richards remained in the game, he was unable to practice on Monday due to soreness. His availability for Tuesday has yet to be released.

The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., ET and will be televised on NBCSN, TSN2, CSN-PH and MSG.

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