A slow start paired with Henrik Lundqvist producing a great game for the opposition led to the Philadelphia Flyers’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers tonight. The Blueshirts’ goaltender had a 37-save effort, while Chris Kreider produced a two-point performance with a goal and an assist. Rick Nash and Daniel Carcillo also scored for New York, as the Flyers failed to produce a point in the standings for a second straight game.
The score may not show it, but the Flyers did show up tonight in the first period. After the Orange and Black fell behind by two goals, any chance they had of making it a one-goal game or possibly tying it were erased thanks to Lundqvist making a string of incredible saves when his team needed it. Lundqvist, who many consider to be having an off-year, naturally turned up his play when taking on a divisional rival tonight in Philadelphia.
Steve Downie was a healthy scratch tonight, as Craig Berube is trying to send a message to the forward that he needs to work on his discipline while increasing the edge in his play. Although it is a good message to send, it put the Flyers in a rough spot tonight, as AHL call-up Tye McGinn was paired with Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier. On top of that, Jay Rosehill returned to the lineup and promptly saw exactly five minutes of ice time in the loss.
Lundqvist’s play and lineup changes weren’t the entire game, as the Rangers dictated play in the second period and didn’t allow the Flyers to comeback in the third period. It was a rough weekend for the Flyers, whether or not they played better than the scores will show, but they need to turn it around to stay in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
The scoring began with Carcillo beating Ray Emery on a wraparound attempt that beat the netminder five-hole just 2:14 into the affair. It took Rick Nash all of 28 seconds to rip home his 11th of the season with a wide-open attempt from the slot that beat Emery’s blocker to make it 2-0.
After a surge from Philly that produced nothing thanks to Lundqvist’s strong play, it became a three-goal deficit for the visitors as Derick Brassard sniped home his eighth of the season 9:24 into the game.
The score would remain the same when the teams started the beginning of the second period, where Luke Schenn decided to drop the gloves with Carcillo. It was evident on the NBCSN broadcast that Carcillo and Wayne Simmonds were exchanging words for most of the first period. Instead of Simmonds, it was Schenn who didn’t land many punches on Carcillo, but did toss around Carcillo like a ragdoll.
The Orange and Black didn’t use the bout to their advantage, as Kreider nearly missed an easy dunk on a power-play bid to make it 4-0 Rangers. After Sean Couturier’s stick broke on a clear attempt, it led to Kreider walking in on Emery without pressure. The Rangers’ forward beat Emery with a move, but let go of a shot that looked to be going wide of the net. Luckily for him, the shot banked off of Braydon Coburn’s skate and into the cage.
The Flyers ended Lundqvist’s shutout bid in the third period with a Mark Streit power-play goal to make it 4-1.
Philly will attempt to end their two-game skid on Tuesday, as they visit the Buffalo Sabres.
Notes: Flyers have now lost seven straight games against the Rangers in New York…Tonight marked the first time all season the Flyers allowed three goals in the first period. It was also the first time all season the Rangers scored three goals in the first period…With the loss, the Orange and Black completed their third back-to-back of the season where they failed to win either game…Tonight was Luke Schenn’s 400th NHL game. He had 17 PIMs, a shot on goal, and two hits 16:31 TOI…With the secondary assist on Streit’s tally, Lecavalier now has 500 assists in the NHL…Kreider’s power-play goal ended the Flyers streak of consecutive successful penalty kills at 26. The last power-play goal they allowed came against the Edmonton Oilers on December 28th…Flyers dropped to 1-1-0 against the Rangers this season. They are now 15-12-3 against the Eastern Conference and 8-6-2 against the Metropolitan Division…Philly dropped to 23-19-4 on the season. They were 21-22-3 after 46 games last season.