The Rangers finally managed to get a win at home, scoring four straight on Anthony Stolarz and the Flyers en route to the 4-3 win. The win also eliminated the Flyers from playoff contention, so feel free to poke fun at a Flyers fan today. It was nice to see the forecheck in full swing for the Rangers, who also had a pretty solid defensive game as well. The Flyers aren’t the best team in the world, but proper process has to start somewhere.
Henrik Lundqvist played another strong game. Despite the rough goals against lately, he’s been locked in for a while. The difference was the better overall team commitment to defense, something that had been lacking up and down the lineup. The Rangers also had their forecheck going, which allowed them to convert turnovers into goals often.
The game wasn’t perfect, as the Blueshirts almost gave it back to the Flyers with two minutes left in the game. They allowed the Flyers to get two goals to make us sweat. But Hank made a brilliant glove save to preserve the win.
On to the goals:
Flyers 1, Rangers 0
Michael Grabner and Jimmy Vesey got crossed up at the blue line, leading to a turnover. Jordan Weal got the puck down to Valtteri Filppula. Wayne Simmonds put a nice pick on Marc Staal to give Filppula room. Kevin Hayes was slow to the back check, as Kevin Klein was tying up his man at the back door. Filppula roofed a backhand over Lundqvist. That is a very difficult shot to stop.
Rangers 1, Flyers 1
The powerplay clicked again. This time Mats Zuccarello fed a perfect pass from the boards to Mika Zibanejad at the top of the circle across the Royal Road. Zibanejad teed it up and fired it over Stolarz.
Rangers 2, Flyers 1
Zuccarello did it again. What a pass to Brendan Smith, who went around Stolarz and roofed it on the backhand for his first as a Ranger.
Rangers 3, Flyers 1
Kreider got in on the forecheck, forcing the Flyers into a bad turnover, in which Dan Girardi was able to keep the zone. Eventually Zuccarello got the puck in front, which Girardi was able to get a stick on the bouncing puck. Oscar Lindberg, who was also crashing the net, got two whacks at it, the second one getting through Stolarz.
Rangers 4, Flyers 1
Rangers 4, Flyers 2
Reason 8,341,532,434 why you get out of the way of point shots. Just let Hank see it. Nick Holden made a poor decision here.
Rangers 4, Flyers 3
This was not good 6-on-5 play by the Rangers. Right before the Jakub Voracek shot, all five Rangers are on the right side of the ice. Voracek was at the left point, and that left Valtteri Filppula all alone at the post. He got a stick on the shot, which prevented Hank from stopping it clean. He then roofed his own rebound.
Score Adjusted Corsi
This wasn’t a dominating shot attempt performance by the Rangers, but not all games need to be. They came out on top, and showed that even with a lead they won’t back down. That likely plays into their success in the third period all season, and it is promising to see them pour it on with a lead.
What is worrisome is that collapse at the end though. The Rangers don’t do that often, so hopefully just a blip.
Scoring Chances (it has returned!)
The scoring chance charts finally got added back, so hooray!
The first period was a little rough for the Rangers, since they allowed a decent amount of chances. But they woke up in the second, and there are long stretches of the Flyers being limited to the outside. That’s the defense you want to see the Rangers play, minus the last five minutes or so. Keep the scoring chances to a minimum, and convert on the counter attack.
This was a solid win for a Rangers team that really needed a strong performance. The Blueshirts had been struggling mightily for the past six weeks. With this win without Ryan McDonagh, they can hopefully begin turning the corner and gaining momentum for a run.