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Rangers dominate Flyers in key divisional win

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers came into last night’s game in a 7-2-1 stretch and needing a regulation win against the Flyers to leap-frog them in the standings and in the tiebreakers.  They did just that, scoring three times in the first period and then holding off a third period surge by Philly for a 4-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash played great games, something that has been a trend for the two superstars over the past 11 games.

In what is becoming the norm over the month of January, the Rangers played another complete game. The goaltending was sharp, the defense was solid, the offensive contributions came from all over, and the constant pressure was very evident throughout the game.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Flyers 0

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Dom Moore and Dan Carcillo were in on the forecheck, causing Mark Streit to turn the puck over behind the net. Carcillo picked up the loose puck, and tucked it through Ray Emery, who couldn’t track the puck quick enough. Nicklass Grossmann also had a very lazy stick check on Carcillo during his wrap around attempt.

Rangers 2, Flyers 0

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Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan were in on the forecheck (noticing a pattern?), and drew three Flyers behind the goal line. When Kreider collected the puck with room, Rick Nash cut from the half boards to the middle, losing his defender in the process (couldn’t tell who it was because the camera angle from NBC Sports was awful). Kreider hit Nash with the pass, and Nash had all day to bury it past Emery.

Rangers 3, Flyers 0

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The Flyers were unable to clear the zone multiple times, with a Benoit Pouliot hit on Grossmann eventually jarring the puck loose and to the corner. Mats Zuccarello picked up the puck, and fed Derick Brassard –who found a hole in the Flyers’ defense– for an absolute howitzer that beat Emery.

Rangers 4, Flyers 0

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Brad Richards forced a Flyer turnover at the blue line, and got the puck to Kreider at the hash marks for a mini 2-on-1 with Nash. Braydon Coburn was the one back, and although he took out the passing lane, he just watched Kreider come to a stop, stickhandle around Emery, and bank the shot off his skate and into the net. In Coburn’s defense, no forward came back to help, but he just stood there the entire time.

Flyers 1, Ranger 4

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As a penalty to Zuccarello was expiring, the Flyers sent two guys (Tye McGinn, Brayden Schenn) to the front of the net. McGinn –who is very strong– outmuscled Stralman and forced him away from the slot, leaving Schenn wide open to screen Hank. Streit ripped a shot from the point that Hank didn’t see all the way, and it beat him. You can make an argument that Marc Staal could have covered the slot, which is a very valid argument. Even if he does, it’s still 2-on-1 in front.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

The Rangers really dominated this game. We saw it on the ice, and the Fenwick chart shows how dominant they were. New York may have scored three goals in the first, but it wasn’t until the second that the ice really tilted in their favor. That blue line just kept climbing and climbing while the red line had multiple points of flat lining. The Flyers didn’t really start to chip away at the shot differential until the third period, when the Rangers sat back on their four goal lead.

As the streak stretches to 8-2-1 in their last eleven, 4-0-1 in their last five, and three wins in a row, the Rangers have made up significant ground in the Metropolitan Division. We spoke a lot about doing the right things, and wins coming. Aside from that stretch in December, the Rangers have been doing the right things. Puck luck balances out in the end. Save percentage was always going to spike once Hank figured out his new pads. Shooting percentage wasn’t going to continue to be 5%. All of these things are balancing out over this 11 game stretch.

18 Responses to “Rangers dominate Flyers in key divisional win”

  1. PAL says:

    Zuccarello’s  25 foot pass to Brassard, backhanded, while falling down, was sick.
    Kreider’s poise and patience on his goal was that of a confident 10-year veteran. Awesome.
    I can’t stand the NBC crew, but the one thing they do great is raise the volume of the crowd, compared to MSG Network. This does make the game seem more exciting.
    And the Dan Carcillo pick-up is turning out to be a good one. I like JT Miller, but Carcillo checks very very hard, hasn’t done anything dumb that I can remember, and most importantly is turning out to be an enormous distraction to other teams, like Sean Avery used to be. The Flyers are down 3 goals, and at least three of them are focused with yapping on Carcillo, instead of of their game. That’s is very cool.

  2. SalMerc says:

    Playing like a team and looking 20 players deep. I guess we need to give AV some credit here. Henrik finally looking comfortable not playing behind the “wall of protection” he had for the last 4 years.

    • RangerMom says:

      LOVE that Hank is rounding into form and the players in front of him are getting into the groove. That said, 38 shots on goal is too many (and a lot of them were pretty good ones). I’d like to see a little more protection — can’t expect the King to be lights out every night. 

  3. Walt says:

    Who was that man, #67 stick handling on his knees, and taking a shot on goal, where was he all season long?  I have to give Pouliot credit here, he is playing with desire, as is the entire team!
    What a skumbag that Schen is, trying to take out J Moore’s eye in that scrum. 
    Over all a very good effert by the team, Hank was soild, and Filthadelphia Sucks!!!!!!!
    If there is any worse owner in the NHL, it has to be Ed Snyder, real dirtbag, and to watch his team go down brings a grin to my face, and warms my heart!  He is one of the main players in the two lock outs.

  4. ranger17 says:

    Now we need Stepan to pot one any way he can .MDZ has not been hurting the team of late . It would be a shame to give up on a 23 yr old D , just saying and i am not a big fan of him . Now we need to really go on a good run at home . LGR

  5. Joe says:

    They are just skating for 60 minutes now and Nash has clearly shaken the cobwebs…thats great for him. He made some really nice defensive plays last night.
    And John Moore can fight.

  6. paulronty says:

    Hey it looks like everything is coming together and playing a type of hockey that will takes us a long way.  These guys are loose & playing instinctively. Both Pouliot & Hank said they stopped over thinking and just started relying on instinct. 

  7. Chris F says:

    Most important win of the season to date. Really put an exclamation point on the Rangers recent resurgence while catapulting them into third in the division and very importantly putting them in better wild card position if need be. Also, to do this against the Flyers who are mounting their own resurgence makes this a hugely important victory.

    Outstanding game. This is why I wave the pom poms Joe. This team, with these players, can be one of the elite teams in the league when they put it all together.

  8. Kevin says:

    I thought the Flyers were supposed to be a tough team to play against because reasons…huh, wonder what happened

    • Chris A says:

      Much like Toronto, Philly doesn’t have the horses.  Just a bunch of donkeys.
      Proof again that the days of the big heavyweight enforcers are over.  The only fighters worth rostering these days are the Prust, Dorsett, Carcillo middleweight types.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        Right.  It’s just not worth rostering goons who can’t skate or actually play the game of hockey.  Guys you mention bring an additional element like a strong forecheck and other “agitator” qualities.

        • Beezer 10 says:

          The.game has changed another way. Agile defenseman with good skating ability  always move up to the point during even strength. A must.

  9. Leatherneckinlv says:

    John Moore can throw em…eh

  10. Brendan says:

    the red line had multiple points of flat lining because of the minor penalties the Flyers kept taking… I LOVE the goal breakdowns on BSB, but the fenwick chart should be left out of the conversation IMO.

    • Chris A says:

      You have a valid point, but if you look at those flat line sections they are much longer than 2 minutes and if I remember correctly the Flyers had a few legit scoring chances on the PK.
       
      I think Dave said this the other day about stats and it applies to The Fenwick chart as well.  Stats need to be viewed in context, not in a vaccum.

    • Dave says:

      I understand your point, but the Flyers had multiple third period flat lines. They didn’t take any minors in the third.

      As Chris A said, the stats are a good supplement to what you see on the ice. Can’t use it in a vacuum. Can’t use eye test in a vacuum either. Ignoring one or the other leads to flawed analysis.

  11. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Teams should fear playing at MSG.