The New York Rangers dropped their third straight game this afternoon, and were defeated 3-0 by the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers had an all around bad game this afternoon, and aside from the first period, they couldn't get anything going. There wasn't any control coming through the neutral zone, and the Rangers resorted to dumping the puck in almost every time down the ice.
However, the Rangers actually had a quick start to this game, and got on the Flyers early with a few scoring opportunities, but Steve Mason stood strong in the crease. Things started getting a little heated after Dylan McIlrath dumped Nick Schultz in the corner with a clean hit, and Luke Schenn took exception. After everything settled down, the Rangers came out with a power play opportunity after Schenn was assessed 2 minutes for instigating, 5 minutes for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct.
After 20 minutes the Rangers and Flyers remained scoreless, with the Rangers out-shooting the Flyers 10-4. The Rangers looked poised to carry their strong play over into the second period, but the Flyers turned the tables on them. The Flyers wound up tossing 18 total shots on net in the second period alone, and took a 1-0 lead on a goal coming from Wayne Simmonds on a breakaway.
Matt Read found Simmonds breaking up ice with Kevin Klein a few steps behind, and fed him with a beautiful seam pass through the middle of the ice. Simmonds went in all alone with Antti Raanta, and shoveled the puck over his shoulder to give the Flyers a late 1-0 lead. If not for Raanta's heroics in the middle frame, this game could have easily been out of hand at the end of 40 minutes.
Much like yesterday against the Boston Bruins, the Rangers continued to struggle at the start of the third period, and the Flyers took full advantage. Just three minutes into the third period, Sean Couturier jammed away at a loose puck in the crease, and after three swats, he knocked the puck in behind Antti Raanta. That extended the Flyers lead to 2-0 early on in the final frame, and from that point on, the Rangers just had nothing.
Philadelphia was making the neutral zone an absolute nightmare by challenging the Rangers at the blue line, and as a result, the Rangers couldn't get extended offensive zone time. With under a minute remaining, Wayne Simmonds scored on the empty net, and made it a 3-0 game to seal the deal for the Flyers. Simmonds was clearly the best player on the ice today, and his two goals only made his game that much better.
This weekend went about as bad as it could have gone for the Rangers, and they will need to find a way to break out of this losing slump. The Rangers will likely work on a lot of their issues tomorrow during practice, and will be back in action on Monday night to host the Carolina Hurricanes at MSG.