The New York Rangers continued their hot streak as the visiting team tonight, and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. Early on during the game, there were some flashbacks to Game 2 when the Rangers blew the 2-0 lead, and wound up losing the game 4-2. The Rangers were able to take early advantage of this game, but allowed the Flyers to breathe, and gave them some life. Henrik Lundqvist was on point for a majority of this game, and the one time he was scored on, he really didn't have much a chance at saving it.
Aside from the one major lapse that resulted in a goal, the Rangers adjusted very nicely in their defensive end for this game. While the shot totals didn't necessarily represent the whole picture, the Rangers limited a hefty amount of the Flyers chances tonight. They were clogging up the passing lanes, and were blocking shots as if John Tortorella was back behind the bench. When the Flyers did have their chances, Henrik Lundqvist was there to clean the rest of it up.
Derek Stepan opened the scoring for the Rangers just under four minutes into the game, and it was the direct result of hard work coming from Rick Nash. Martin St. Louis found Nash cutting down the left side of the ice, and Nash went to work by powering his way out of the corner. With the Flyers starting to pressure Nash, he quickly tossed a shot on net, and Derek Stepan was right on the doorstep to clean it up. Emery has been exposed all series long with his poor lateral movement, and Nash made that evident once again with his rebound attempt.
A little under seven minutes later, the top line connected for yet another goal, and it all started with Rick Nash. Nash made a nice power move behind the net, and fed a nice pass out to Dan Girardi, who teed up the point shot. St. Louis wound up catching a slight piece of the shot as it came in, and deflected it over the blocker of Ray Emery.
Things were looking pretty swell for the Rangers at that point, but just like Game 2, the Rangers allowed the Flyers to crawl back into the game with a late goal. Mark Streit tapped in a beautiful cross-ice feed from Jakub Voracek, and just like that the Flyers made this a game once again. The Flyers wound up carrying that late momentum over to the second period, and out-shot the Rangers by a total of 13-4. However, the Rangers found a way to score early on despite the pressure, and regained their two goal cushion.
Dan Girardi picked up the goal off of a blast from the point that was set up by both Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. Hagelin deserves a ton of credit for this goal as his hard work behind the net led to the feed out to Richards, who then dished it off to Girardi for the bomb. The Rangers were able to lock it down for the rest of the period, and controlled a massive two goal lead heading into the third period.
The third period featured a lot of Daniel Carcillo, for better or worse. Carcillo wound up taking a pretty blatant cheap shot from Matt Read (which the league is reviewing) as he was going off for a line change. Carcillo was glancing off in the other direction as Read crossed his path, and laid his shoulder right into the side of his head from the blindside. It seemed like incidental contact at first, but the replay shows Read clearly glancing up at Carcillo before lunging forward. I know Carcillo isn't necessarily liked by many of his opponent's, but that's just ridiculous.
Then, a few minutes later, Carcillo wound up getting two minutes for having the name "Carcillo" on the back of his jersey. Read had a wide open lane to take a shot, but Carcillo wound up sprawling out to lift his stick, and knocked the puck out of the zone. There was zero contact with the hands, and Carcillo hit all stick with his attempt. The referee's have been noticeable for all the wrong reasons this post-season, and that was just another one to add to the list.
However, Carcillo and the Rangers had the last laugh after it was all said and done. With Carcillo exiting the box, Brian Boyle broke up the ice and created a 2-on-1 with a Carcillo joining the rush late. Boyle made an excellent saucer pass over to the cutting Carcillo, and he tapped it through the legs of Emery to seal the deal. Boyle has been very noticeable all throughout this series, and that setup only adds to the list. Obviously the Flyers fans took major exception to Carcillo scoring the goal, and were flipping him the bird as he was celebrating the goal. Carcillo capped it off with the celebration of the year as he just stood there with his hands in the air, and the biggest grin on his face.
Ray Emery wound up getting yanked following the goal, and Steve Mason came in for the final five minutes of the game. I would assume that indicates that he will start for the Flyers in Game 4, as Emery didn't have a whole lot of wiggle room with Mason healthy tonight. The Rangers will have a few days off before they head back to Philadelphia on Friday evening for their meeting in Game 4.