The New York Rangers put a beat down on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight by a score of 4-1, and are now in sole possession of third place in the Metropolitan Division. Only the Washington Capitals remain ahead of the Rangers at the moment but due to two less games played, they hold down second place. For those of you counting at home, that's now three straight wins for the Blueshirts, and two straight wins at Madison Square Garden. These last two weeks have been extremely encouraging, and it appears as if the Rangers are seriously turning the corner.
While the Rangers have been in the basement for a majority of the season for goals scored, they have now put up three goals in their last five games, and don't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Henrik Lundqvist also had a monster of a game in between the pipes, and despite allowing a goal in third, he absolutely dominated the Flyers in the blue paint.
These rivalry games are always fun to watch, and the Rangers wasted little time setting the tone on their home ice. Just 2:12 into the game, Daniel Carcillo picked up his first goal in blue as he stuffed in a wrap around attempt from the left side of Ray Emery. The overwhelming pressure from both Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle in the corner led to Adam Hall giving the puck away behind the net, and Carcillo finished it off.
Exactly 30 seconds after, Rick Nash cashed in off of a beautiful feed from Chris Kreider in the corner, and sniped one over the pad of Emery for the 2-0 lead. You really couldn't have scripted a better start for the Rangers, and they quickly dug the hole a little deeper for the Flyers a little bit later.
Things started to calm down a bit following the second goal, but the Rangers continued to grind down the Flyers in their own end, and it eventually lead to a third goal. This time it was Derick Brassard ripping and absolute howitzer over the glove of Emery. Mats Zuccarello continues to be a menace in the corners, and somehow dished a pass of to Brassard while he was falling to the ground. Zuccarello has been absolutely lights out for the Rangers this year, and he just amazes you with some of the stuff he pulls off.
The Rangers continued to push the pace following the first intermission, and were able to break through with yet another goal. Chris Kreider wound up potting his team-leading 12th goal, and basically frozen both Ray Emery and Brayden Coburn with the moves that he made coming in. Kreider hasn't been all that noticeable throughout the last two games, but tonight was his coming out party once again, and he didn't disappoint in the slightest bit.
With the Rangers holding on to a commanding 4-0 lead, they started getting into a bit of penalty trouble, and gave the Flyers an opportunity to get right back into the game. After a handful of saves on the power play, Henrik Lundqvist finally let one slip behind him at the 6:49 mark as Mark Streit blasted one from the point. Lundqvist was spectacular all night long, and it was a little disappointing to see his shutout busted in the third period. Even though he didn't pick up the goose egg, he definitely built up a ton of confidence with that performance. If not for some early first period heroics, the Rangers might not be holding onto their 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Things started to get a little testy at the end of the game when Scott Hartnell popped Carcillo with an unnecessary sucker punch, which resulted in all out mayhem. John Moore wound up dropping the gloves with Brayden Schenn, and laid an absolute beat down on him along the glass. Everyone else wound up tangling up with one another, and nothing else came of it.
Yet another huge game for the Rangers as they continue to rack up the wins, and roll up the standings. The Tampa Bay Lightning will be next on the chopping block, and will be visiting MSG this upcoming Tuesday.