Game Wrap-upsPlayoffs

Rangers take 2-1 series lead on Lundqvist’s 31 saves

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers followed up their dud in Game Two with a convincing 4-1 win in Philly last night to take a 2-1 series lead. The win was a complete team effort with great goaltending, solid defense, and balanced offense. But don’t be fooled by the score, Philly controlled most of this game, generating a 65.2% Corsi advantage for the game (score effects). Good teams find ways to win games in which they are dominated, and the Rangers did just that by taking advantage of some terrible goaltending.

Martin St. Louis (1-1-2), Dan Girardi (1-1-2), and Rick Nash (0-2-2) all had multi-point games. Dan Carcillo played the best game I’ve ever seen him play in his entire career. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves, including some very difficult saves late.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Flyers 0


This goal was a bit of a weird play. Both Kimmo Timonen and Brayden Coburn backed off the puck while it was in the air, allowing MSL to pick up the puck by the blue line in the offensive zone and dish to Nash at the far boards. Jakub Voracek deserted Derek Stepan on the weak side, and that combined with the Ray Emery whiff on Nash’s shot led to Stepan getting the rebound goal. It’s like the Flyers fell asleep on this one.

Rangers 2, Flyers 0


Timonen simply got tangled with MSL behind the net and fell, giving MSL room to get to the front of the net to deflect the Dan Girardi shot (which was flubbed) past Emery. Bad luck play for Timonen there.

Flyers 1, Rangers 2


MSL attempted to hit Brad Richards with a pass out of the defensive zone, but it got tangled with a fallen Ryan McDonagh. Claude Giroux picked up the puck and transitioned, hittingĀ Voracek on his wing. MSL couldn’t catch up with Mark Streit, who took the Voracek feed and one-timed it past Hank. Girardi and McDonagh made the right defensive reads on the play.

Rangers 3, Flyers 1

That's a whole lotta room to shoot.
That’s a whole lotta room to shoot.

Marc Staal made a very smart pinch to keep the zone, which led to some good Rangers board work to keep possession of the puck. Girardi came off the bench, and the Flyers were unable to pick him up. Richards simply fed him the puck for a rip from the point that beat Emery with Dan Carcillo in front.

Rangers 4, Flyers 1


What a period by Carcillo. First, the classy Flyers fans boo his injury after Matt Read delivered a drive-by that was a suspend-able offense (but he won’t be). Then, after making a solid defensive play on Read, he was called for a penalty. After the Rangers killed it, with Hank making a huge save at the end, Brian Boyle was able to steal the puck from Brayden Schenn and transition with Carcillo streaking down the middle. Carcillo simply burned Simmonds and Boyle made one of the best saucer passes I’ve ever seen him make. Carcillo simply tipped it past Emery.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater
Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Score effects had a big impact in the third, as the Rangers sat on their lead, but the Flyers still had a sizable advantage heading into the period. The chart suggests the Rangers sat back once they got their second two-goal lead.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater
Courtesy of ExtraSkater

The win gives the Rangers a 2-1 series lead, with Game Four in Philly on Friday night. Steve Mason made an appearance at the end of the game, so it’s easy to say that he will play in Game Four, as the Flyers will desperately need a win. They don’t want to head into Game Five down 3-1 in the series.

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  • Nice win over a bunch of scum bags, and a low life city!!!!

    Is it me, but every time Nash comes down the left wing, he takes a long range shot from on top of the face off circle? Hell, he may as well just give it to the flyer d-man, and be done with it!! The guy is 6’4″, why not show some power moves, he just plays soft for such a big dude.

    I just loved the game Carcillo played, some of the others should put out as much of an effert, we would never lose. Over all balanced scoring, good “D”, and for the most part, we stayed out of the box. As a side note, the refs just sucked last night, I understand Ed Snyder has then on his payroll!!!!!

    • C’mon Walt, that’s a bit harsh. Nash was actually a beast in the first period. He was lugging the puck around the O-zone and dishing to teammates like a good power forward.

      He was a key player on the first two goals. Especially the second goal. He battled for the puck on the left faceoff dot, dragged the puck behind the net, came out the other side and flung it the point (Where Dave’s picture picks up the action).

      After that he shut it down, like the rest of the Rangers. But Nash was hustling on D, just like his teammates, the rest of the game.

      • Agree on Nash. Sometimes he looks like he’s floating, but that’s deceptive. His style is smooth but he was everywhere he needed to be for most of the game. I have zero problem with Nash. Take him out of the lineup and we’d notice the loss, big time.

        On other matters, they won because Hank played like average Hank of the last 5 years. Funny how that works.

        • That’s all true Gary. Even tho Nash isn’t scoring goals (2 Assists) if we lost him for more than a game or two at the most. You would notice a difference. So far in the playoffs the Rangers are 4th in the NHL (16 playoff teams) in avg Goals per game at 3.33 GPG.
          We (NYR) have played 3 games while some have a 4th game already under their belt. The Rangers team 5 on 5 (Close)Corsi took a bit of a dive last night due to the Rangers playing prevent D. I hate to call it that because I think it’s a good way to lose a lead but they controlled their Gaps in the neutral zone well and slowed the Flyers entry into the Rangers zone well. So through 3 playoff games the Rangers are operating at 52.8% Corsi events at 5 on 5 Close which is down due to last nights win. Fenwick events are about the same at 53%. Not bad but PDO through 3 Playoff games is 2nd best of 16 playoff teams at 108.2 Including a 10.8% Shooting %. Only behind Montreal which is a powerhouse right now.
          This excites me a bit. I don’t expect the Rangers to maintain a 10 Shooting % all playoffs but it sure beats 5%. Or their regular season avg of 6.1%. If they can score at even 8% over a long playoff series then they will have little trouble keeping up with the best the East has to bare. I think the Rangers are top 3 in the East right now and hold an advantage over all teams in Defense core and aside from Boston goaltending as well.
          Rask is good but he is programed for a certain look from shooters. If you change speeds on him. You can make him look stupid. Throw floaters at him. He gets flustered at times.

      • Think Walt is right, don’t really know what the 3 thumbs down were for on his post. However, when you got guys like Zucc and St Louis playing a game 10X their size, and a guy like Nash is cruising around not doing much with his 6’4″ power forward frame, it’s a little puzzling. Regardless of his assist/point production, we didn’t get him for that. His 2 or 3 assists and 0 goals so far is him using his body to protect the puck and by some time for his teammates, but that shouldn’t be the extent of his contribution. Time to put up or shut up. It’s the playoffs, everyone has to kick it up a notch.

        • Thanks Joe, but I can say that there are people out there that see my name, and automatically go for the thubs down swith.

          The truth is the truth, and too any folks are always looking thru rose colored glasses, and hate the truth. Look, when we play well, I comment to that affect. When they play poorly, I do the same, and it irritates some on this blog. Have fun fools, give me all the stupid thumbs down you want, it means nothing!!!!!

    • Yup, and once in a while we’ll get a goalie like Emery last night who mishandles a shot like that and leaves the puck on his doorstep for an easy goal. But that is rare and atypical for playoffs hockey. Nash is just not a force on the ice; wish it weren’t true but he isn’t. Thankfully, MSL looks to be taking on the burden of carrying our top line and Nash will be carried along with it. Nash is a goal scorer; just not in the playoffs.

      • He has 4 points I. 3 games while his line has 4 out of the 10 goals the team has scored. I’m fine with that pace of production.

        • Again, he is a goal scorer. It is great he is picking up assists by moving pucks along the boards and things like that, but he isn’t fulfilling his primary role on the team. If he is not scoring goals, and he chooses not to use his big body and check opponents, then he isn’t much of a factor. I’m just trying to be realistic about it.

          • But, you’re not being realistic or you haven’t been watching the same game that I am watching. Nash has been powering to the net all series… also he draws the opponents best defenders, and usually more than one of them.

            Where do you think all that open ice that Stepan and St. Louis have is coming from?

          • That line would be even more dangerous if Both Stepan and Nash Score. To go with the Ozone Face off wins. Just saying..

      • He hasn’t scored a goal but he’s certainly contributing, 4 points in 3 games is hardly anything to complain about. MSL, Stepan and Nash are all putting up the points so I don’t see how you can say one is carrying the other.

        • Stepan and MSL are scoring goals; Nash is picking up an assist here and there by primarily moving the puck forward and along the boards. I am not complaining, just stating what I see.

          Do you see a power forward scoring goals? That’s supposed to be his role on the team.

          • Honestly you guys are those kinds of fans that’d find a reason to complain about anything. If it’s not Richards it’s Nash. If it’s not Nash, it’s St. Louis. If it’s not St. Louis it’s Boyle. If it’s not Boyle it’s Carcillo.

            How come no hate for Pouliot’s two penalties? You mean you haven’t turned on him?

            The Rangers are winning games because they’re playing a team game. Everyone can’t score every games. 4 Points in 3 Games by Nash is just fine. You think he isn’t doing what he’s being paid to do? He’s drawing two defenders to him every time he touches the puck, and his passing is so underrated that you are complaining about it. 4 Points in 3 games = wins no matter HOW the points are coming.

          • First of all, where is all this hate your talking about?? I posted that he takes these long range shots that are good for nothing, and people get their bowels in an uproar. Maybe it’s his style, but he just doesn’t play the game like a power forward should. Yes, MSL, and Step are scoring, yes Nash is getting his assists, but I just wish he would show a little more effert than what I’m seeing.

            As for your bull crap that we just like to complain, get off it already. When someone does well I give them credit, when they screw up, well I mention it, but again there are too many thin skinned fools who just don’t want to hear it. Sorry my friend, just don’t lump me in with “all those who want to complain”…..

      • Nash played well last night, guys.

        I was pretty hard on him in yesterday’s comment section(s) and watched him closely last night.

        Without taking over and dominating, he had a very effective game. Check out the highlight of the second goal. Follow the play from the faceoff to the goal. He’s the one who made that whole thing happen.

        • Well he certainly helped the team by setting up one goal, and throwing the puck on net that, after a goalie mistake, led to another. But “playing well” for Nash means he is playing like a power forward. He is not playing like that. Even if he chooses not to check opponents, he can still drive the puck toward goal; create havoc and sometimes get enough open ice to score. But he is not doing that. He’ll get his assists on a line in which Stepan and MSL are performing and scoring goals — but we can’t confuse that with Nash playing well. Right now, he is the least effective on that line and his role is to be the most effective.

          • Lugging the puck around the O-zone and winning puck battles in the O-zone is EXACTLY what a power forward is supposed to do. That’s what Nash did last night, for one period.

            For whatever reason the entire Ranger team shut it down offensively after the first. Can’t blame Nash for a team-wide change in philosophy.

          • I did not see Nash winning puck battles in the corners/along the boards; I saw Nash with the puck in open ice throw the puck on net from afar; and make a pass to a defenseman who scored from the point. I have not seen Nash get in the “dirty areas” of the ice. #36 does that, but not #61.

            But I do expect Nash will get his assists on this line and may get some goals too, given how well his linemates are playing. So, we’ll just have to see — right now, we have an 18 game playoff history for Nash in which he has scored 3 goals; nobody remembers his assists because that’s not supposed to be his role.

          • You should watch the first period again, specifically the second goal.

            And for all the love we give Zuccs, and I am certainly a fan, you have to keep in mind that he dominates the oppositions third pair D. It’s rare to see the Brassard line facing the opposition’s top D pairs. Why is that? Because the Rangers have Rick Nash to occupy the first and second D pairs.

          • Dude. Watch the replay of the SECOND GOAL. Start from the face off to Emery’s right…watch the whole play develop and from the puck drop until when Nash passes it off to Girardi.

            Winning subtle puck battles, trying to make power moves to the inside, getting stifled, keeping control of the puck, creating in zone chaos, then dishing the puck to an open teammate, hockey plays…..its what the playoffs are all about.

            I agree– I could have done what Nash did on that first goal. But that second goal is EXACTLY what we want him to do on a more consistent basis.

            Zooming out and taking a step back, it is apparent to me that our first line has been pretty productive this series. Is Nash’s play Conn Smythe inspiring so far? No…but so far, so good.

          • I just watched the 2nd goal again as you suggested. Nash did not battle with any opponent for the puck; it squirted behind the net, he was first to it by a few strides; it went further to the sideboards and Nash easily passed it along to Girardi. There was nobody battling him for the puck.

            Listen, I am glad Nash got 2 assists last evening. I just view his role as being that of a goal scorer and power forward and not as a player who will get his assists because his other linemates are scoring the goals. That’s never been his role on this team or in his career.

          • Honestly, if you watched that replay with an open mind and came to the conclusion that “There was nobody battling him for the puck” and just write that play off, then I’m not sure what else I can offer you.

            Let’s just agree to disagree. At the end of the day, it’s not about a stat line. It is about being a difference maker every game and being a key cog on a winning team. He did that last night and I will look for him to do it again in Game 4.

            For me, the Nash jury is still out. I absolutely want more from him too and agree that he ain’t scoring enough goals in the post season. Where you and I differ is that I thought last night was a step in the right direction for Nash and a good building block. It seems you don’t even want to give him credit for that.

          • Ok, I just watched the clip on the NHL site. Their clip doesn’t show the play starting from the faceoff. You just see Nash separating from Coburn and then giving it to Stepan. Basically Nash was beating Coburn all over the ice that shift and that’s what created the goal.

            Whatever, I’m just glad they won. I know Nash played well and I enjoyed watching him contribute to last night’s win.

          • I’ve tried to be consistent with my original point: Nash’s role on this team is as a goal scorer. Glad to see he played an overall sound game and got one quality assist but he is not scoring goals, so far. I actually think that could change because Stepan and MSL are playing so well, it would only be natural for things to starting falling his way and for him to put pucks in the net. But, so far, that has not happened. I do not see him impacting the game the way he has in years past. He chooses not to hit opponents — I am ok with that if he is scoring goals. Again, he is not.

            His role on the team is not to be the 3rd most effective player on our top line. His role is to be our go-to goal scorer; a force with the puck and a consistent threat. MSL is starting to show signs of being willing and able to handle that role, and Nash seems content to let him have that role.

            If you do not see things this way, I am ok with your view.

    • Sorry Mike, but you can get away with it if you have an AHL level goalie, like Emery, but not with top rate quality goaltending, that we will see if we advance!!!!

      And someone said we should nam Nash captin, of what, the chicken chokers?????

  • Good effort all around. We need to figure out a way to get the puck out of the zone. Philly seemed to be able to keep it in so many times, I thought they had 3 guys on the blue line.
    Carcillo added some much needed energy. I like MSL, and think this is why they made the trade; the ability to come up big during the playoffs.

  • The Rangers board work was better this game which allowed time for their Dman to join in on the play.

    The Blue Shirts were also blocking shots and forcing the Flyers to shoot for the outside. Lundqvist was his old self looking solid between the pipes and frustrating the Flyers forwards.

  • I was never a big Carcillo fan but consider me a convert. Yeah – pretty stupid penalty against Giroux but it was borderline at best and at least he was sticking up for the mugging Hags took from the Thugs. Penalty or not – the stick check was an amazing show of effort. The shot to the head he took would have kept most guys on the bench. And then he gets the goal – How fitting – Poetic Justice for sure

    If he can keep that balance between aggressive and restrained he adds a totally different dimension and it comes with a whole lot emotion which you got to have in the Stanley’s.

    He looked damn good in the hat and it was well-deserved

    • That was not a penalty at all. It was the refs seeing the name on the back of the jersey as he sprawled out on the ice.

      • That was actually an excellent defensive play by Carcillo; too bad he was penalized for it, though I am sure it was not overlooked by AV and his teammates.

  • The best part of the game last night was Carcillo’s classic celly after he potted his goal.

    You’ll see me mimicking it in my next beer league game. Bank it. I don’t care at all how stupid it will look in a completely empty arena.

  • The referees have been cheating us all series. They’re calling penalties on the Flyers, yes. But they’re not calling every penalty the Flyers commit, meanwhile they’re calling cheap BS embellishment calls, the penalty on Carcillo near the end of Gm 3. Voracek practically raped Hagelin yesterday, then beat the living snot out of him & Hagelin got sent to the box, and they got a power play out of it because of the shove by Carcillo. What a sham.

  • I’m not sure which game many of you were watching last night but it certainly wasn’t game 3 of the ECSF between Rangers and Flyers.

    Because in that game Nash was a force on the ice. He made a lot of good things happen in the offensive zone, he battled on the boards behind the net, and he drove to the net on multiple occasions.

    He may not have scored a big goal, but he picked up 2 assists and was quite noticeable.

  • I think we can all agree the most frustrating Ranger on the ice last night was Pouliot.

    That 2nd penalty he got while we were on the man advantage was extremely amateur. What a dummy.

    • It was nice to see the team work though to pick up the slack that Pouliot was leaving.

      There is a spirit to this team that was lacking last season. They may not play exactly like the 11-12 team but they certainly stick together.

    • Watch your words my man, Scully will have you on the “Haters List” for saying that about Pouliot!! But your right on with the comment.

  • I am not a fan of Nash either as I think he is too soft, however he played a good game and has been marginally good in the series. A marginally good Nash is above and beyond an average NHL player. I can not stress how much I think he needs to get physical, however to his credit he does get attention from the opposition which has left St Louis a tad more open since his arrival and has paid dividends.

    On a different note the NHL needs to monitor the referee performance on a nightly basis. Game 2 and 3 by NHL referees has shown how inconsistent they are and if it is not inconsistent then I say there is a problem (Conspiracy theories…lol) Lets talk about embellishment penalties and the bogus penalties at inopportune times. If the NHL has issues with the Rangers, they need to sort that stuff out in the Courts and not on the Ice. If the NHL is trying to manipulate the match ups for TV ratings and star players getting publicity then this corruption is exactly what Sports are all about. Too many incidents to call this coincidence. The game on the ice needs to be fair and just. That will garner more love for the game than ratings

    • If the NHL is trying to manipulate the match ups for TV ratings and star players getting publicity then this corruption is exactly what Sports are NOT all about.

    • You summed it up best: Nash has bee a marginally good player.

      I don’t think that is his role on the team but, thank you for concisely characterizing his performance.

  • So from what I read at the beginning of these posts, people think that everyone on the same line should break beyond the space/time continuum and be scoring all of the goals at the same time instead of assists. Got it.

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