The Rangers took two points from the rival Flyers tonight, 4-2 at The Garden. With the exception of an incredibly scary puck to the eye suffered by Marc Staal, and some offensive zone penalties, it was a pretty awesome game to watch. Rick Nash flat out dominated and Ryan Callahan continued his high-scoring ways. Oh, and Henrik Lundqvist is back. Let’s get to the goals…
Rangers 1, Flyers 0
The Rangers started this game with a lot of energy and offensive pressure. The Callahan, Gaborik, Miller line was pressing in the offensive zone when Cally drew a holding penalty on Kimmo Timmonen. On the ensuing power play, the Rangers carried the puck into the zone on the near side. Max Talbot misread the puck and committed to the high slot. Stepan then sets up and 2-on-1 with Callahan down low, and The Captain takes it out on the water bottle into the top corner.
Rangers 1, Flyers 1
On the Rangers second offensive zone penalty of the period (this time a stupid elbow by Stu Bickel), the Flyers would draw even. Derek Stepan chased Jakob Voracek down to the near side wall, even though Staal had the man. This opened up a 3-on-2 down low, resulting in Wayne Simmons being wide open in front of the net for an easy tip in.
Rangers 1, Flyers 2
After Cally was called for hooking at 16:53, the Flyers power play went to work again. After winning the draw, Philly cycles the puck down low and out to the far sidewall. As the two sides fought for possession at the far point, Darrell Powe gambled he could leave his mark and clear the puck. Unfortunately, the risk didn’t pay off and he found himself caught high along the strong side with Jeff Halpern and Dan Girardi. Jakub Voracek, playing the point on the power play, slid into the slot unobstructed for a nice little pass by Wayne Simmons. Hank made a quality first save before the uncovered Voracek beat Girardi to the front of the net to bury his own rebound.
Rangers 2, Flyers 2
The aforementioned Gaborik, Miller, Callahan line was working to create some pressure down low in the final minute or so in the third period. They eventually turned the puck over the Braden Schenn who cleared the puck out to the Rangers’ blue line. Ryan McDonagh quickly corralled the puck and transitioned it back to the Philadelphia zone. This quick pass caught all three Flyer forwards on the attack, and Callahan was able to work his way down low, deke wide around a sprawling Luke Schenn, and then around Bryzgalov for an absolute beauty. Huge lift at the end of the period.
No scoring in Second Period
Rangers 3, Flyers 2
The Flyers were forcing the issue at the start of the third period. They had created substantial pressure down low, before the puck found Luke Schenn at the point. He fired in a tough shot that Hank turned away with his right pad. The shot left a big rebound and Girardi threw a nice little flip pass up to Nash on the weak side. The speed and distance of the rebound caught three Flyers in the Rangers’ end zone, leaving Giroux to cover the far point. Nash carried the puck all the way in and froze Bryzgalov with a laser between his blocker and pad.
Rangers 4, Flyers 2
This one was just a thing of beauty. Luke Schenn made a late, bad change, just as Derek Stepan saw Rick Nash flying down his abandoned side. Nash drove to the net, and despite being hooked and poke-checked, No. 61 was able to pull his hands in and walk right around the Flyer’s keeper and deposit the puck into the empty net.
The Flyers put up a fight in the final 2 minutes, but it was not meant to be. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something about Marc Staal’s injury. Really scary stuff, let’s all hope he’s ok.
Rangers are back at it with another divisional game with the Islanders on Thursday night. Puck drops at 7pm.
*I experienced technical difficulties with the breakdown photos tonight, my apologies. Will have them for the next one.