Home Sweet Home

The Philadelphia Flyers have made sure that their struggles at home in 2006-07 haven't carried over into this season.

They'll try to remain undefeated at home on Thursday when they host the New York Rangers.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Philadelphia -125 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 69% of bets for this game have been placed on New York +115 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

The Flyers (11-6-0) are 6-0 at home and have outscored their opponents there 22-7 after winning just 10 games in Philadelphia in '06-07. They have won seven straight at home dating to last season, their longest such winning streak since a nine-game run Oct. 7 - Nov. 12, 2005.

Philadelphia, which is playing the second game of a four-game homestand, finished last season with the worst record in the NHL, but currently sits on top of the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Rangers (10-7-1). Now, the Flyers will be trying to regain their home-ice advantage against New York, which has won eight of its last nine games in Philadelphia, including all four last season.

Philadelphia has dropped six of its last seven against the Rangers overall, including a 2-0 loss on Nov. 5 in the first meeting this season. Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan scored and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

The Flyers have won three of their last four, including Monday's 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Scottie Upshall, playing in only his seventh game of the season because of a broken wrist sustained in the preseason, scored twice and Mike Richards scored the game-winner early in the third period while Philadelphia was short-handed.

Richards led the Flyers with four short-handed goals last season and already has three this season.

"He's been playing great. He's been our best player so far," Upshall said. "We need that out of all our guys every night to step up and score big goals like that. He stepped up and came through for us."

The Flyers opened their homestand with a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"It was something we talked about doing," goalie Martin Biron said. "To win big games against Pittsburgh (on Saturday) and then tonight at home against the Islanders, it definitely gives us a boost going into the rest of the week."

Left wing Simon Gagne sat out again with concussion-type symptoms. He has complained of vision problems and dizziness.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have won seven of their last eight, including Wednesday's 4-2 win in New Jersey. Jagr scored on a power play, and rookies Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal also had goals for New York, which improved to 2-0 on its four-game road trip.

"They are the future of our team," coach Tom Renney said. "They have to contribute. That's why they're here."

Scott Gomez had two assists and has two goals and seven assists during a seven-game points streak.

Lundqvist, meanwhile, made 22 saves to improve to 1-5-1 on the road. He returned to the net after his first game off of the season on Saturday.

The Rangers have allowed just 11 goals over their last eight games.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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