Entering the game between the Flyers and the New York Rangers the two teams were heading in different directions. The Flyers were on a four-game winning streak and the Rangers have dropped three straight. The Flyers have had their struggles against the Rangers recently picking up only one win in the last seven games.
The first period started out fast for the Flyers allowing them to pick up a goal two minutes into the game. Jordan Weal deflected a Radko Gudas shot past Henrik Lundqvist for the one to nothing lead. That would be all the fight the Flyers would muster in the game. Shortly after the Weal goal, the Flyers seemed to stop skating which cause them to get sloppy in their defensive coverage. Radko Gudas pinched in on the near boards and Brandon Manning got caught flat-footed at the blue line allowing Rick Nash to skate in and fire a shot from the slot past Brain Elliott to tie the game at one.
Just over ten minutes later the Rangers went on the power play after Valtteri Filppula was called for interference on Mats Zuccarello. J.T. Miller deflected a Ryan McDonagh shot from the point past Elliott’s blocker for the two to one lead. It was the Flyers turn to go on the power play with less than two minutes to go in the period when Jesper Fast slashed Jakub Voracek. With the time winding down in the period the Flyers put the second power-play unit on the ice. The Flyers coaching staff changed the point men on the second unit having Manning play with Ivan Provorov instead of the normal single point man set up they usually go with. The change did not seem to work out as planned, Manning once again got caught flat-footed and allowed another breakaway on Elliott. Rangers forward Paul Carey took a pass from Peter Holland and put a wrist shot over Elliott’s glove for the three to nothing lead.
The second period had many of the same problems for the Flyers that showed up in the first. The Flyers forwards had no speed, the defense played out of position, and the goaltending was sub-par. Entering the second period Elliott had a save percentage of .636 after surrendering three goals on just eight shots. The Rangers picked up their fourth goal of the game when Michael Grabner took the puck off of Voracek and put a wrist shot between Elliott’s legs. It was obvious that Elliott was having an off night but Flyers coach Dave Hakstol left him in net. The Rangers added another goal by Rick Nash with just under three minutes to go in the period.
The third period started with Michal Neuvirth in net for the Flyers and the move left Elliott with a .762 save percentage for the game. The third period seemed like both teams were going through the motions to get the game over with. The Flyers would get to the red line and run into a wall of Rangers and turn the puck over. The Rangers sat back and let the clock run down to end their three-game losing streak and giving Henrik Lundqvist his 20th win of the year. The win also gives Lundqvist an NHL record 13 straight seasons with 20 or more wins for the season.
Up next for the Flyers will be the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs currently hold third place in the Atlantic Division with 54 points and are on their own three-game losing streak. The Flyers are 96 W 57 L 22 T 4 OTL against the Leafs. The Flyers have also won three out of the last four games that have been played between the two teams.