One should never give Rick Nash open space on two breakaways. One should also avoid putting Ryan Callahan on the power play. Tuesday night, the Flyers did both.
The Philadelphia Flyers fell to the Rangers 4-2 Tuesday, in an epic divisional tilt. The two teams wee neck and neck through the first two periods, as a playoff atmosphere developed around the Garden. The Rangers eventually pulled ahead, and left the Flyers in their wake.
Philadelphia started on the back foot, as Kimmo Timonen was given a penalty for holding Ryan Callahan. New York took advantage, as Callahan hit back with the game’s first goal. However, the Rangers’ Stu Bickel would later put the Flyers on the power play.
After Philadelphia nearly lost the puck, Jak Voracek ignited strong puck movement. His cross-ice pass to Claude Giroux resulted in a quick shot. Wayne Simmonds would flick the rebound in with ease. Suddenly, the game was nodded up at one.
The Flyers capitalized on a Ryan Callahan penalty late in the first period. New York collapsed on Wayne Simmonds, clutching the puck low on the left wing. Simmonds retrieved a cutting Jak Voracek in open space, and Voracek scored on the uncontested shot. However, Ryan Callahan would avenge his fault. Philadelphia committed a cardinal sin; they lost the puck between the blue lines. The Ranger captain picked up the loose puck, and had numbers behind him. Instead, he cut inside from the left wing to tuck away his second goal. Madison Square Garden’s action film left for intermission, with the score locked at two.
Next followed a back-and-forth second period with no goals scored. Early in the third period, the Flyers held possession in the Rangers’ zone. Luke Schenn’s shot was saved by Lundqvist, and kick out for a huge rebound. Rick Nash recovered the puck from Girardi’s pass on the high right wing, with nobody in front of him. Nash drove down the right wing, and beat Bryzgalov on a speedy solo-break. Nash awarded the Rangers the lead at 3-2.
Later, Nash doubled his tally, as Derek Stephan found Rick Nash on an open break again. Nash drove in, fought off a hook, and beat Ilya Bryzgalov. His goal heightened the lead up to 4-2.
Opportunities missed by the Flyers lead to the 4-2 loss. Poor line change execution and defensive miscues gave the Rangers an open door. They walked straight in, and took the game by storm. The Flyers fell to 11-12-1, and will face Pittsburgh Thursday, 7:30 PM at the Wells Fargo Center.