The New York Rangers don't lose often at Madison Square Garden, but one slipped away this weekend. The same applies to home games against the Philadelphia Flyers, though a lengthy streak came to a close earlier this season.
The Rangers look to get back on track at MSG when the Flyers visit Sunday night for the fifth and final regular-season meeting between the Metropolitan Division rivals.
New York (31-18-6) is riding a 7-0-2 run at the Garden, improving its record at the famed arena to 20-5-3. The Rangers are one of only four teams with that many home wins.
A five-game home streak came to a close, however, with Friday's 5-4 overtime loss to Los Angeles. The Rangers seemed to have their fifth straight victory in hand before allowing the tying goal with 30 seconds left in regulation and another in the extra period with backup Antti Raanta making his first start since Jan. 17.
"When you have the lead in the final minute, you want to nail it down and take the two points, but 3 on 3 (in overtime) is touch and go sometimes and it's a heartbreaker when you lose," defenseman Keith Yandle told the team's official website.
"We're not going to get deflated."
The Garden had a habit of taking the air out of Philadelphia (24-20-10) until the Flyers' 3-0 victory there Nov. 28.
Wayne Simmonds had two goals and an assist to help snap the club's 10-game regular-season skid at MSG, which came by a combined 38-11 score. The win was just the Flyers' second in their last 15 games on Broadway, including a 2014 first-round playoff series.
The first four in this season's series were split, though New York won the last two in shootouts at Philadelphia. The most recent was a 3-2 Rangers win Feb. 6 that opened 1-2-2 stretch for the Flyers.
Though Philadelphia has scored only 11 goals during that time - even with Thursday's 5-1 win over Buffalo - Shayne Gostisbehere has hit his stride. The rookie scored in Saturday's 2-1 loss to New Jersey to become the first rookie defenseman in NHL history with a point in 11 consecutive games, one more than Barry Beck in 1977-78.
Gostisbehere's streak is also a club record for rookies.
"He's stayed very confident with the puck and he's confident in adding offense to our team," coach Dave Hakstol said.
Philadelphia, which is 11-12-3 away from home, will draw a tough matchup against New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he tries to improve on his 17-3-2 home record. Lundqvist has won four straight and holds a .939 save percentage and 1.73 goals-against average in 12 starts since Jan. 11.
He is 2-0-1 against the Flyers this season with a .946 save percentage, and he can draw even with Chicago's Corey Crawford and Washington's Braden Holtby for the league lead in home victories.
The Rangers will continue on without Ryan McDonagh (concussion) and Rick Nash (left leg bruise), who have missed three and eight straight games, respectively. McDonagh practiced Saturday and is nearing a return, while coach Alain Vigneault said Nash would be shut down for at least another week.
New York has averaged a healthy 3.29 goals over the last seven games and will face Steve Mason, who made 41 saves Thursday against the Sabres. Mason has started each game against the Rangers this season, going 2-0-2 with a .951 save percentage.