What started out as a rough first 10 minutes for the Rangers turned into a great hockey game and their sixth win in a row. Though the goaltending was shaky at times, the Rangers found a way to win the game, and win big. The wins keep on coming and so does the hope of meaningful games come April.
Jaro Halak had a good game for himself saving 29 of 32 shots. He had one softie, but was otherwise solid throughout. The Flyers had a decent amount of high danger chances, so the one softie is easily overlooked when looking at the full body of work. Igor Shesterkin cannot play every game, so the more confident Halak can get is huge for both him and the Rangers.
He doesn’t belong on the top line, but Barclay Goodrow is doing a pretty good job faking it in the short term. He added another goal and an assist last night, giving him a line of 7-8-15 on the season. Gerard Gallant doesn’t change a “winning formula”, and it does look like Goodrow’s spot there will be temporary. He did say that Vitali Kravtsov might get a look up in that spot eventually, but Goodrow is holding his own until Kravtsov is deemed ready, whenever that is. It seems Gallant is choosing to stabilize the team with low-event hockey to get some momentum going before he makes any changes.
Even before this little run, K’Andre Miller and Filip Chytil needed to be prioritized this coming offseason, as both are due new contracts. If either becomes a cap casualty, it would be a significant detriment to this team’s roster construction. Both have come to play this season and have, at times, carried the Rangers. Miller won’t always put up the offense, but what a goal that was. It’s clear he has the skill, and it’s now abundantly clear he’s the #2 behind Adam Fox. The goal came right after the Rangers killed off his penalty and was a game changer. That’s a big-game player.
The same goes for Chytil this season, who is getting deserved spotlight in these recaps. His underlying metrics were always a plus, but he finally has the raw stats to back up those metrics. Long-term, he should probably be the team’s 2nd line center, as game in and game out he shows increased IQ of the NHL game. He almost scored a dandy himself, but the puck rolled on him last second as he was bringing it to his forehand. He’s still on pace for a 45-50 point season, so let’s see how the rest of the way goes.
Flyers 1, Rangers 0
Ben Harpur missed the net by a country mile, which led to the Flyers having an easy transition up the ice. James van Riemsdyk received a pass from behind the net and stuffed it through Jaro Halak. The shot wide left the Rangers scrambling to get back, and JVR was wide open with no one around him. Many will blame Halak, but it’s the whole play.
Rangers 1, Flyers 1
The Flyers had some very weak coverage on this one, especially after Artemiy Panarin was able to thread the needle to Mika Zibanejad in the neutral zone. Zibanejad had space, forcing the defense to back up. Zibanejad’s pass to Barclay Goodrow at the blue line, followed by his charge to the net, stretched the Flyers defense with the forwards unable to catch Panarin on the back check. Goodrow also made a great pass to Panarin for the goal.
Rangers 2, Flyers 1
This is a goal of the year candidate by K’Andre Miller.
Rangers 3, Flyers 1
Goodrow managed to skate through half of the Flyers as he raced to be the third man in on the chance. Panarin and Zibanejad made great plays to draw some players and then dish perfect passes. Goodrow with the soft hands to slide it under Carter Hart.
Rangers 3, Flyers 2
The Rangers gave up a 2-on-0 on the powerplay. This was an awful pass by Panarin that went right to Scott Laughton.
Rangers 4, Flyers 2
The Flyers were unable to clear the zone, with Vincent Trocheck keeping the play alive at the blue line. His chip back in hit a Flyer and went right to Jimmy Vesey, who spun around, used Tony DeAngelo as a screen, and beat Hart.
Rangers 4, Flyers 3
Halak probably wants this one back.
Rangers 5, Flyers 3
Jacob Trouba empty shorthanded empty netter.
Rangers 6, Flyers 3
DeAngelo chopped at Kaapo Kakko at the empty net, so Kakko got the empty netter.