The New York Rangers came away with their fifth straight victory against the Flyers this season, with a 5-2 victory this afternoon. Ryan Callahan notched his second career hat trick today, including two power play goals as well. Henrik Lundqvist had another strong performance between the pipes to preserve the lead for the Rangers.
Just eight minutes in the first period, we saw Stu Bickel and Tom Sestito renew their rivalry once again. Sestito crashed the net after the whistle and Bickel took exception. Both would receive ten minute misconducts, but Sestito would get the extra minor for roughing. It's also worth noting that Stu Bickel was dressed as a seventh defenseman for this game, and saw some time on the right side of the fourth forward line.
Just 24 seconds later (ironic huh?), Ryan Callahan cashed in on the power play to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead. Marian Gaborik made a great pass over to Callahan, which wound up fooling Sergei Bobrovsky. However, just over five minutes later, Wayne Simmonds tied up the team with an beautiful deflection in front of Lundqvist.
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Andrej Meszaros would take a hooking penalty with about five minutes remaining in the first period. The Rangers would capitalize with another power play goal, this time from Marian Gaborik. Richards picked up his second assist of the game with a excellent slap pass to allow Gaborik to redirect the puck past Bob. The Rangers headed into the locker rooms with a big 2-1 lead.
Although, the lead only last six minutes into the second period as Claude Giroux scored on a breakaway. Simmonds caught the Rangers on a defensive change to spring Giroux on a breakaway. Lundqvist would make an initial diving glove save on Giroux, but Giroux jammed it into the net shortly after.
Just three minutes later, the Rangers would score their third power play goal of the evening. Scott Hartnell was whistled down for high-sticking. Ryan Callahan got his second goal of the evening off of a great pass by Michael Del Zotto. The great passing on the power play allowed Del Zotto to get a lane and slip it over to Callahan for the easy tap-in.
Again, the Rangers went into the intermission with another one goal lead. Six minutes into the third period, Artem Anisimov scored on yet another tap-in, in front of the Flyers net. Derek Stepan picked up the first assist with a great feed over to Anisimov. Also, Marian Gaborik picked up his fourth point of the night with his third assist of the game.
The final goal of the game would give Ryan Callahan his second career hat-trick against the Flyers. Brad Richards made a great pass over to Hagelin who was sitting on the far post. Hagelin mishandled the puck, and Callahan picked up the loose puck and put it into the empty net. With that assist, Richards picked up his third assist of the game as well. Richards currently has four points in his last two games, talk about breaking out of a slump.
The Rangers power play was clicking all afternoon long and was the deciding factor in this game, and it's finally nice to see that working. With this win, the Rangers once again widen the gap with their Atlantic Division lead. The Rangers will be in action again tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 against the Washington Capitals back at Madison Square Garden.