Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Flyers 1
January, 12, 2014
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK --- For only the third time this season, the Rangers have now strung together three straight wins following Sunday night’s 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. More good news for the Blueshirts? Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is finally starting to look like himself again.
Though Philly spoiled goaltender Lundqvist’s shutout bid in the third period with Brayden Schenn's power-play goal, the Rangers came out buzzing and took a 3-0 lead in the first period, with Lundqvist stellar in goal to stave off any comeback hopes.
With the win, the Rangers passed the Flyers to take hold of third place in the Metropolitan Division. The 24-20-3 Blueshirts are tied with the Washington Capitals with 51 points, though the Caps have two games in hand.
Power surge: Entering Sunday night’s action ranked sixth in the league with the man advantage, the Rangers recorded their fifth straight game with a power-play goal. With Nicklas Grossmann in the box for boarding on Chris Kreider, the recipient of the nasty hit made him pay with shot that banked in off Braydon Coburn's skate to make it 4-0 at 13:18 in the second period. With an assist on the play, veteran center Brad Richards extended his point streak to five games. It is not immediately clear whether Grossmanm will be subject to any supplementary discipline on the play that prompted the Rangers' fifth power play of the night.
Strong start: The Rangers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the first period with the type of energetic, high-intensity start that they’ll want to replicate in the future. Ex-Flyer Daniel Carcillo notched his first goal as a Rangers with a wraparound at the left post 2:14 into play, and winger Rick Nash added on with a goal just 28 seconds later for an early 2-0 advantage. Carcillo, acquired in a trade from the LA Kings last week, was a particularly chippy presence up front for the Blueshirts. After jawing with both Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill earlier in the game, Carcillo dropped the gloves with Luke Schenn in a second-period scrap.
Even-ing out: Prior to Sunday’s game, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he needed more even-strength production from Derick Brassard and the 26-year-old pivot provided just that with a blistering slap shot midway through the first period that extended the Rangers lead to 3-0. Of Brassard’s eight goals this season, five have come on the power play.