Thursday, January 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Flyers 2, Rangers 1
By Katie Strang
What it means: Remember that squandered third-period 5-on-3 power play that sunk the Rangers in the season opener in Boston? The Rangers fell again thanks to their special teams ineptitude, dropping their third game of the season, 2-1 to the Flyers, after failing to convert a key power play in the final frame. The Flyers earned their first win of the season after starting 0-3-0, while the Rangers stumbled to an unsightly 1-3-0 record.
Big miss: The Rangers whiffed on a prime opportunity to tie the game midway into the third period as they wasted yet another pivotal 5-on-3. The Flyers' PK came up huge and was anchored by netminder Ilya Bryzgalov, who made a terrific stop to rob Rick Nash on the two-men advantage. The Wells Fargo crowd went bananas after the Flyers killed off the remaining 5-on-4 power play to preserve the 2-1 lead.
Keeping pace: Promoted to the second line after a strong trio of games to start the year, Taylor Pyatt tallied his team-leading third goal this season (tied with Marian Gaborik). Gaborik, who earned a hat trick in the team's first win of the season Wednesday night, fed Pyatt with a deft pass to set up the power-play goal, which cut the Flyers' lead 2-1 in the third.
Double up: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was sharp in holding the Rangers in the game through the first period and a half but the King got little help in front. That backfired in the second as the team fell behind 2-0 on a pair of Flyers goals scored within 4:01. Following up on Wayne Simmonds’ first goal of the season, Jakub Voracek extended the lead by poking in a loose puck at the right post at 15:54.
Skate score: Simmonds snapped a scoreless tie to put the Flyers on the board 1-0 when Nicklas Grossman’s shot glanced off his skate for a goal at 11:53 of the second. The play was reviewed, but the goal was upheld.
Kreider scratched: Rookie Chris Kreider watched Thursday’s game from the press box as a healthy scratch after struggling in the first three games of the season. The 21-year-old winger has had a hard time fulfilling his defensive responsibilities on the ice and could find himself back in the minors at some point this season. The Rangers, who want to be cautious with the top prospect's development, have not ruled out sending him back to the American Hockey League, where he played during the lockout.
Hartnell down: Before the game, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced that winger Scott Hartnell is expected to miss four to eight weeks with a foot injury suffered in Tuesday’s game against New Jersey. Holmgren later announced that veteran free agent Mike Knuble will sign with the Flyers and will join the team Friday.
Up Next: Rangers vs. Maple Leafs on Saturday at 7 p.m.