Flyers Change Their Ways, Earn Important Split In New York

Published on April 20th, 2014

By Russ Cohen

New York — Game 2 started off the same way Game 1 finished. The Rangers were dominating the play. The Flyers were sloppy and couldn’t spend much time in the Rangers zone and Ray Emery was having trouble with his lateral movement. However, after the Rangers got their second goal, a perfect pass from Rich Nash to Derek Stepan to Martin St. Louis, who buried it. Things changed.

The Flyers started to push the Rangers around. Claude Giroux started to push through some of Ryan McDonagh’s coverage. The Flyers were chipping away at McDonagh and before you knew it the Flyers got an important first goal at 14:14 of the first period to make it a 2-1 game. Jake Voracek blew past many of the Rangers including Dan Girardi and then the Flyers forward had clear sailing as he buried his shot. What changed? Voracek seemed to get a new stick during warmups, maybe that changed his luck, in his mind, where it matters most.

“Guys killed off a big penalty before the goal and that gave us momentum and from that point on we started to play better. I still think we can play better but at least the effort was better tonight. We competed hard and won more battles,” said Couturier.

In the second there were a ton of penalties called. Many were questionable. The Flyers did get an important power play off an interference call on Rangers forward Anton Stralman and that’s when Jason Akeson got his first-ever playoff goal. He got that at the 5:45 mark. Flyers coach Craig Berube started the game off with the line of Akeson, Read, and Sean Couturier, who turned in his best defensive performance of the year. He helped keep the Rangers 1-6 with the man-advantage and his great reach and some help from Emery. Both helped keep the Rangers off the scoresheet in the second when the Blueshirts generated 17 shots off of two power plays, one was a 4-on-3.

Luke Schenn’s backhand goal, a chip in while pinching was the one that broke the camel’s back. Adam Hall and Michael Raffl got the helpers and the Flyers had a 3-1 lead and they later added an empty netter. A power-play empty netter because the Rangers had a too many men on the ice penalty and during that Flyers power play they pulled Lundqvist.

“I just knew it was a delayed penalty so I knew if they touched the puck play would stop so I jumped up in the action,” said Schenn. “Guys did a great job battling and I was glad I was able to chip in.”

The Flyers could have scored six goals in this game but Rangers netminder, Henrik Lundqvist stopped Adam Hall on a short-handed breakaway after he blew by a tired Brad Richards who was on the Rangers point and made a few others in the second period.

“This is a good team (Flyers). By no means did we think this was going to be an easy series. We know we have to be better. We knew that they were going to be better after Game 1 and they were. For us we have to keep raising our level here and we are tied going to Philly,” said St. Louis.

Giroux and Lecavalier recorded assists in this game but neither were huge factors. Lecavalier got moved off the 4th line in the second when the Flyers coach shortened his bench. Still he played less than 10 minutes.

The Flyers are now playing with house money stealing a game in New York with their backup goalie in. Steve Mason could start Game 3 although the Flyers coach was non-committal about that during his postgame.

Emery led the Flyers to victory | Source:  Andrew King

Emery led the Flyers to victory | Source: Andrew King

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