The Philadelphia Flyers played the New York Rangers close during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in April, but regular-season matchups in Madison Square Garden haven't been as well contested.
The Rangers will try to continue their home dominance over their Metropolitan Division rival Wednesday night with both teams hoping to end losing streaks in their first matchup since the playoffs.
New York (7-7-4) has won eight straight regular-season home games against Philadelphia (7-7-2) with a 31-9 scoring advantage. The Flyers' only victory in their last 12 visits to Manhattan came in Game 2 of the playoff series, which they would lose in Game 7 at the Garden by a 2-1 score.
The Rangers haven't had much of a home-ice advantage lately, losing five of seven at MSG following Monday's 5-1 defeat to Tampa Bay. Martin St. Louis scored against his former team but had a minus-4 rating.
"You can live with yourself losing a game when you played the right way," St. Louis told the team's official website. "I don't know how we can live with that one (Monday). It's going to be a tough one. It's nowhere near where we have to play to give ourselves a chance."
He has six goals and two assists in his last eight games, but St. Louis has a minus-7 rating in the past six as New York has gone 1-3-2.
Both the Rangers and goalie Henrik Lundqvist enter Wednesday looking to avoid losing four straight for the first time since Dec. 7-12.
"I am concerned," said Lundqvist, who allowed five goals on 30 shots Monday. "We just have to keep talking about it in practice and believe in each other and stay positive. We know it's there."
Lundqvist has keyed New York's recent dominance of Philadelphia at MSG with 16 goals allowed in the past 12 meetings, including eight consecutive regular-season wins with a 1.13 goals-against average.
The Rangers were one of the better defensive teams in hockey a season ago, ranking fourth with 2.32 goals against per game. This season, they're up to 3.00, but Philadelphia has been among the worst in the league at 3.19.
The Flyers have that same average at the other end to rank among the NHL's top-scoring teams, but that didn't help in back-to-back defeats over the weekend. One night after losing 4-3 at home to Columbus, they fell 6-3 at Montreal on Saturday for their third straight road loss.
"When you give up six goals, it's hard to come back," said Brayden Schenn, who scored twice. "Our team defense wasn't where it needed to be."
Schenn has three goals and four assists on a career-best five-game point streak, while Jakub Voracek assisted on both of his goals and has 19 points on a 10-game streak. The duo skated with Claude Giroux against the Canadiens and has impressed coach Craig Berube.
"They look fast," Berube told the team's official website. "Brayden got to the net - he's doing a lot of good things, wherever he's playing."
Special teams have been a bit of a circus lately for the Flyers. They've gone 7 for 14 on the power play in the last three games, and their 23.6 percent season mark is among the best in hockey. Their penalty kill is 1 for 7 in the last two games and ranks near the bottom at 71.2 percent.
Ray Emery struggled in goal against the Canadiens, which may pave the way for Steve Mason to start. Mason, though, is 0-3-0 with a 3.35 GAA on the road this season and 0-3-1 with a 3.44 GAA all-time at the Garden, including two playoff starts.
Rangers top scorer Rick Nash has no goals in his last nine games against the Flyers.