Rangers Beat Flyers 3-2 in a Shoot-out

Published on April 3rd, 2011
 

Coburn landing a punch on Boyle | Source: Joe del Tufo

by Mike del Tufo

Sunday, April 3th, 2011
The New York Rangers battling for a playoff spot won a crucial afternoon contest over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shoot-out.  This was the 6th of 6 meetings between the Flyers and the Rangers this season.  The Flyers had won 4 of the first 5 times they had played this season with the Rangers winning 7-0 on March 6th in New York.  For this game, Henrik Lundqvist started in net for the Rangers and Sergei Bobrovsky for the Flyers.

Flyers forward combinations:
Leino-Hartnell-Carter
Giroux-JVR-Zherdev
Richards-Versteeg-Carcillo
Betts-Powe-Nodl

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Carle-Syvret
Meszaros-O’Donnell

45 seconds into the 1st period and the Flyers and Rangers already were scrapping.  Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell and Rangers winger Brandon Prust dropped the gloves.  O’Donnell seemed to get the better of him.  Flyers got the 1st power-play of the game at 5:51 when forward Ryan Callahan took a tripping minor.  The Flyers got just one shot during this power-play.  The Flyers opened the scoring at 12:25 when JVR knocked in a rebound off of an O’Donnell shot.  The Rangers got their 1st power-play at 18:20 when defenseman Matt Carle was called for hooking.  Then at 19:26, Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn was called for high-sticking to give the Rangers a 2-man advantage.  Bryan McCabe blasted it in a 19:59 to tie the game.  The high-stick by Coburn apparently broke Marc Staal’s nose but Staal like a true hockey player returned.

The Flyers were reeling a little bit in the 2nd period after getting stung by that goal with one second left in the 1st.  The Rangers were controlling the action in the early going.  The Rangers fresh off of a penalty-kill scored at 13:30.  Ruslan Fedontenko jumped on a loose puck in the slot and buried it.  This led to another bout.  This time it was between Coburn and Brian Boyle.  Near the end of the period, the Flyers had a power-play and got tremendous pressure on Lundqvist.  Giroux had a wide-open shot from the slot that he blasted wide.  The Flyers had been flat all period until this.  Both teams were battling as this period expired.  The Flyers led in shots after two periods 25 to 22 but were losing 2-1.  Flyers center Blair Betts missed the rest of the game due to a lower body injury.

Rangers Marian Gaborik high-sticked Mike Richards 45 seconds into the 3rd period to give the Flyers a great opportunity to tie the game.  The Flyers made little of this recording no shots on goal.  However at 4:32, Giroux gave Zherdev a perfect pass that he tipped through Lundqvist’s five-hole and tied the game.  The rest of the period seemed to set up overtime as both teams coveted getting at least one point.

Carter and Timonen had a 2-on-1 at 2:30 of overtime but Timonen could not handle the pass.  The Flyers controlled play in overtime but could not score.  It was kind appropriate the game goes to a shoot-out like in Game 82 last season.

In the shoot-out, the Flyers opted to go first and went with Zherdev and he was stopped.  Erik Christensen went for the Rangers and scored.  Giroux was then unsuccessful for the Flyers.  Forward Wojtek Wolski then ended the game by scoring and giving the Rangers an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the shoot-out after 2 rounds.

The Rangers have posted a record of 15-5-2 (32 pts) in their last 22 games at Philadelphia, dating back to a 3-1 win on Mar. 27, 2004.  Lundqvist has registered a career 8-4-1 mark in Philly.  The Rangers are also the only team in the NHL who are undefeated when leading after two periods, posting a record of 28-0-0 in those contests.

On the Flyers’ poor play as of late, winger Scott Hartnell said, “It’s a little concerning.  It’s collectively.  It’s not just a line or a couple guys.  You know, we’re not finishing checks, it seems like we’re not doing the fore-check, and we’re not getting the pressure that we want.  In the beginning of the year we were in groups of five out there just cycling nonstop.  It seems like we have one good shift and two off.  That’s definitely not winning hockey.  As you can tell, it lasted a while and it’s going to be a short playoff season if we don’t correct it now.”

Flyers have won only one game at home since March 1st and have a 3-game losing streak.  Their next game is at Ottawa vs. the Senators on Tuesday April 5th.

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