It may have not been pretty, but the Philadelphia Flyers did just enough to grab the home win by a score of 2-1 over the visiting injury-riddled New York Rangers. Matt Read and Braydon Coburn scored for the home squad, while Steve Mason denied 30 of New York’s 31 shots on net.
For New York, Brad Richards was the benefactor of a fortunate bounce for the team’s lone goal, while Cam Talbot made 25 saves in NHL debut. The visitors were without Henrik Lundqvist (undisclosed), Ryan Callahan (thumb), Carl Hagelin (shoulder), and Rick Nash (head).
The game-winning tally came early in the third period, as Coburn walked into a slap shot from the point that beat Talbot through traffic for the blue liner’s second goal of the season. After Sean Couturier slid a pass through two Rangers in the neutral zone, the Flyers were able to generate a chance that nearly ended with a rebound in the slot. Read managed to keep the puck away from New York and let the disc glide to the point, where Coburn lined up the game-winner.
It wasn’t an easy task to hang on to the win, as it looked as though J.T. Miller had provided the equalizer for the visitors. Luckily for Philly, the officials said the Rangers’ forward kicked the puck into the net. With the helpful call, the Flyers avoided a game-tying tally from New York despite the offensive surge the Blueshirts provided in the final minutes of the contest.
“I thought we did better,” said Craig Berube following the one-goal decision. “We got to the net pretty good tonight. Still, we had too many shots blocked, couldn’t get through, but I thought there were good tips, good traffic.” After the team’s second win in their ninth tilt of the year, the Orange and Black have yet to post a game with three or more goals.
With several key players missing for the Rangers, a five-minute power play, and a questionable call on a New York goal that was waived off, the Flyers managed to squeak out what should have been a rather easy win for the club.
The team came out with another slow start, but they did provide several offensive chances and actually posted a positive goal differential in the third period.
“I thought we stopped playing a little bit in the third,” Berube said. “Playing a little too cautious, but we picked it up again and were okay. Definitely helps the team’s confidence, for sure.”
The home team did strike the posts several times tonight, as both Kimmo Timonen and Luke Schenn rocked iron without a goal to follow. Even with these two close chances, the Rangers dictated play for a good amount of the game. It wasn’t a beautiful win, but it was a win this club desperately needed.
Although they didn’t come out with the energy you’d expect for a team that was 1-7-0 with a week off, the Flyers did grab the lead on a short-handed bid by Read.
Tye McGinn was in the box for hooking when Derick Brassard turned the puck over at the Flyers’ blue line to start an odd-man rush for the hosts led by Read. The forward held on to the disc the entire trip up the ice before he beat Talbot five-hole to give the Orange and Black the 1-0 lead 9:07 into the contest.
Unfortunately for Read and company, the Flyers couldn’t escape the frame with a lead, as a bad bounce off a Philly defenseman resulted in a tally for Richards.
After nearly a period where the Rangers had their fair share of cycling in the Flyers’ zone, Richards let go of a bad-angle shot from the corner to Mason’s right that found the back of the cage. Coburn tried to drop to a knee to block the shot, but ultimately redirected the biscuit past Mason, who was still moving side-to-side. Richards’ goal leveled the score with 1:04 left in the opening frame.
Although the first 20 minutes produced a healthy bout between Zac Rinaldo and Derek Dorsett, the second period is when the intensity picked up between the division rivals.
With just under five minutes left in the second period, Wayne Simmonds eventually got Brandon Mashinter to drop the gloves. Mashinter caught Simmonds with a hook early, but Simmonds responded with several punches of his own before the tilt ended. Immediately after the fight, Dorsett came over and grabbed Simmonds, which led to a pack of Flyers pushing Dorsett into the boards. What resulted was Simmonds and Mashinter earning five minutes each for fighting, as Dorsett earned a 10-minute misconduct.
Less than two minutes after the fighting, Benoit Pouliot checked Max Talbot from behind into the boards in the neutral zone. Talbot dropped to the ice, but was fortunately able to skate off by himself, as he headed straight to the locker room. With the play, Pouliot was dealt a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct with three minutes left in the second stanza.
Philly couldn’t put one past Talbot before the end of the second period, which led to Claude Giroux trying to start a scrum at the end of the period and left the Flyers with two minutes of power-play time left on the major to start the final period of play.
The Flyers’ next game is in New York on Saturday when they visit the Islanders.
Notes: In addition with last season’s results, the Flyers are 3-3-0 against the Rangers over the teams’ last six games. Philly is 3-10-1 against New York in the last 14 meetings between the clubs…The Flyers are 117-112-37-7 against the Rangers all-time and 66-53-14-4 against the Rangers at home all-time…The Orange and Black have now gone 11 straight games without a three-goal performance dating back to the last two games of last season. The team also has streak of four victorious outcomes that have resulted in 2-1 decisions…Tonight was Mark Streit’s 500th NHL game. He had two shots on net, a hit, and two blocked shots in 20:02 TOI…Andrej Meszaros, Hal Gill, and Jay Rosehill were scratched for the Flyers tonight. Mats Zuccarello, Justin Falk, and Lundqvist were scratched for the Rangers…Adam Hall had one shot on net, one hit, and one takeaway in 7:02 TOI against his former team…Richards’ scored his fifth goal of the season tonight. The Rangers have 12 goals total…Richards’ tally also ended a 105:05 span without a goal for New York…The Flyers improved to 1-0-0 against the Rangers this season and to 1-2-0 against the Metropolitan Division. They are also 2-5-0 against the Eastern Conference…The Flyers improved to 2-7-0 this season. They were 3-6-0 after nine games last season.