Flyers Fall to Rangers 4-2 in Winter Classic Prequel

Published on December 24th, 2011

by Mike del Tufo

Friday, December 23, 2011
The New York Rangers handed the Philadelphia Flyers another loss at Madison Square Garden doubling up the orange and black 4-2.  The Rangers had shut out the Flyers 2-0 there on November 26.

Flyers Danny Briere missed this game due to a hand injury.  Henrik Lundqvist started in net for the Rangers and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:
Giroux-Jagr-Hartnell
Read-JVR-Simmonds
Talbot-Sestito-Voracek
Zolnierczyk-Rinaldo-Shelley

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Carle-Bourdon
Meszaros-Lilja

Former Ranger Jaromir Jagr was met with a chorus of boos the 1st time he touched the puck.  The Rangers did not get their 1st shot on goal until over 14 minutes into the game.  They really came on at the end of the period after the Flyers dominated initially.  The game had a playoff atmosphere.  It was an even 1st period in every sense as the score was 0-0 and shots were 8-8. 

The Flyers were strong on the penalty-kill to start the 2nd period.  They were able to survive a 5-on-3 early on.  The Rangers, however, opened the scoring at 10:18 when center Derek Stepan tipped it in.  The Flyers tried to gain some momentum after Tom Sestito and Rangers Brian Boyle tussled at 12:11.  The Rangers seemed to take more out of it and went up 2-0 at 15:35 when Ruslan Fedotenko slipped the puck over Bryzgalov’s left shoulder. 

At 1:48 of the 3rd period, Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik beat Bryzgalov on the breakaway.  Down 3-0, the Flyers were reeling.  The Flyers finally got on the board at 10:21 when Andrej Meszaros scored.  This goal snapped a shutout streak of 193:55 that Henrik Lundqvist had against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden.  It dates back to a second-period goal scored by Dan Carcillo in the Flyers’ last win at the Garden, on Feb. 20, 2011. (It does not include an empty-net goal scored later in that game.) 

The teams would exchange late 3rd period goals to close out the scoring.  Rangers Ryan Callahan scored on the power-play at 14:04 and Flyers James van Riemsdyk scored his 9th goal of the season at 17:50.

Flyers Scott Hartnell said on the loss, “Lundqvist – good.  Plain and simply he’s a pretty good goalie.  I don’t think we tested him enough tonight.  When he’s on, he’s on.  It’s tough to beat him.”

The Flyers next game is Tuesday at Tampa vs. the Lightning.

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