This was the definition of a trap game. The Rangers played last night and brought an eight game winning streak against the Flyers into the game. Add that to the fact the Flyers hadn’t won a game yet this season and I didn’t have high hopes for the game. I was right.
For those who hadn’t heard, Kris Newbury was recalled from the Whale earlier in the day and played in place of Kreider, who got to watch this game from the press box. Bickel remained in for Asham therefore Eminger remained in on D.
The game started exactly as everyone expected it to – with Richards, Nash and Gaborik on against Talbot, Couturier and Voracek. Oh you didn’t expect that? Then you don’t know Torts. Remember, the Rangers had to give their starting lineup first. No way Torts was starting his fourth line in this game.
For those looking for the fisticuffs, that came two and a half minutes in when everyone’s favorite “fantasy camp” player threw a big hit on Halpern. Bickel didn’t like it and came in to let him know about it.
Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful period. Amazingly the Rangers won 13 of the 21 faceoffs in the period. Otherwise the Flyers dominated the rest of play, outshooting the Rangers 11-5, but fortunately weren’t able to get anything past their nemesis Lundqvist. The hope was the Rangers would find their legs to start the second.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The good news is it didn’t seem to be a fluke that the Flyers were 0-3 going into tonights’ game. It took almost twelve minutes into the period until we finally got some action. That action would be the Flyers deflecting a puck past Lundqvist to take a 1-0 lead. After the goal, we went back to the snoozefest the game had been up until that point.
It didn’t last long as three minutes later, Newbury decided to attempt to fight McGinn. I say attempt because he got his butt kicked. He also managed to get an extra penalty giving the Flyers a power play and life. (Did I not call this earlier?) It took them till halfway through the power play but they did find the back of the net to double their lead.
The Rangers continued their lackluster play during the remaining four minutes of the period as the Flyers built up a 28-13 edge in shots.
Third period started with the Rangers getting their first power play of the game just 22 seconds in. Somehow they managed to capitalize on it a little over halfway through the power play to cut the Flyers lead in half as Pyatt scored for the third game in a row.
Six minutes later, I don’t even know what happened. It started with the Rangers getting a penalty. They killed it but just before it ended, the Flyers took a double minor for high-sticking Del Zotto. The part I didn’t understand? Del Zotto started the power play. Guess the double minor had nothing to do with whether he was bleeding or not. Fifteen seconds into that, the Flyers took another power play to give the Rangers a full two-minute 5-on-3. (Fun stat: The Rangers have had a 5-on-3 in every game so far this season. You would think they would have the hang of it by now.) Unfortunately the power kill showed up as the Rangers got nothing going during the extended man advantage.
The rest of the period wasn’t really worth watching so I’m not going to discuss it as the Rangers finally lost to the Flyers for the first time in nine tries. They were outshot 33-19. Basically, it was what it was. I wish I had more to say but the game was not your typical Rangers-Flyers game as both teams proved why their records are what they are (both are 1-3-0).
Next up for the Rangers is a match-up against a Toronto team that blew a 3-1 lead to the Islanders tonight at home to lose 7-3. That should be a fun one on Saturday night. As for the Rangers, call me crazy but honestly, I’m still not worried.