Riding their longest winning streak of the season, the Flyers will try to build on their success against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden when the Atlantic Division rivals meet on Thursday.
The Flyers (11-24-4) are 7-0-1 at MSG since Nov. 8, 2003, with the lone loss coming in a 3-2 shootout on April 4. Philadelphia has yet to win in regulation this season without Forsberg in the lineup, going 0-9-3.
“The last time we lost Peter, we stepped off a cliff,” Flyers coach John Stevens said.
He suffered a right groin injury in the first period of the Flyers’ 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday—their season-high third in a row after a franchise-worst 10-game skid.
“It’s the same problem as before. It’s coming back,” Forsberg said. “It’s just frustrating, it goes on and on and on, the same thing. I don’t know what to do.”
Since joining Philadelphia before the start of last season, injuries have sidelined Forsberg for 34 of 121 games. He’s been involved in a struggle all season to find a skate to support his surgically repaired right ankle, and he recently recovered from a concussion.
“It’s been like this for a while,” said Forsberg, who has seven goals and 23 points. “It got better. The foot is always crooked. We got the boot to work a little better. Maybe it’s not 100 percent. Maybe that’s why it’s pulling. I can’t say for sure.”
Forsberg had consecutive three-assist games before re-injuring his groin after playing less than seven minutes against the Isles. The five-time All-Star had a goal and two assists in the Flyers’ 4-2 win on Oct. 10 at MSG, and has four goals and 10 assists in an eight-game points streak there starting in December 1998 when he was with Colorado.
The Rangers (20-17-4), who have beaten the Flyers twice in Philadelphia this season, are looking for a third straight win after losing a season-high seven in a row.
“We just wanted to win so bad,” Lundqvist said, who’s stopped 43 of 46 shots in his last two starts. “We needed this. We know we’re a good team. We just have to stay confident.”
New York has 44 points, and trails division-leading New Jersey by four points.
The Rangers’ offense appears to have regained its scoring touch with seven goals in two contests after scoring just 11 during their seven-game slide.
Petr Prucha has three goals in his last two games, giving him nine this season after he had 30 in 68 games as a rookie last season. The Czech native has picked up the slack for countryman Jaromir Jagr, who has not scored a goal in six games, but .
Despite the slump, Jagr still leads the team with 37 assists and 53 points. He failed to record a point in the Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Flyers on Dec. 12, but has nine goals and nine assists in 11 games versus Philadelphia since the start of last season.