Whatever you do, don't read this recap while drinking or operating heavy machinery.
Nick Schultz was called for interference just five seconds into the first period which put the Rangers on the power play before everyone in the Garden even had a chance to find their seats. However, the Rangers were unable to get much of anything going on the man advantage. 16:36 into the first period Luke Schenn hit Jesper Fast after he put a shot on net which gave us our first inevitable scrum of the game.
At the 15:42 mark a blast from Mark Streit got past Antti Raanta who was screened on the play by Raffl. Just a few moments later, after the puck was dropped at center ice, Ryan McDonagh took a puck to the chin along the boards and headed to the locker room for repairs. McDonagh wouldn't return to the bench until around 13:00 minutes had dripped off of the clock. Streit's goal was assisted by Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl.
With 11:07 to go in the first period the Rangers had earned a 6 to 4 edge in shots but still trailed 1-0. Some good puck movement by the Derick Brassard, J.T. Miller, and Mats Zuccarello line created a few of the Rangers' chances early in the first period including two big looks for Zuccarello around the halfway point of the first chapter of the game. With about 9:00 to go Chris Kreider got some separation and took a shot from the left wing boards, but Steve Mason sealed the five hole shut and quieted the buzzing Garden crowd.
After Emerson Etem failed to get the puck out of the Rangers' zone, the Rangers' fourth line managed to put some pressure on the Flyers thanks to the creativity of Dominic Moore and the strength of Etem near the Flyers' net. Etem drew a hooking penalty on Vincent Lecavalier to give the Blueshirts their second power play of the game. The ensuing power play saw Ryan McDonagh return from the locker room and take to the ice. The captain wasted little time making an impact. He contributed to a dangerous-looking power play that featured Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, and Kevin Hayes moving the puck around like a pinball and creating some great scoring chances that kept Steve Mason busy.
Raanta, who didn't see much action in the period, made a solid save on an attacking Wayne Simmonds who picked up a loose puck at his own blue line and charged up the ice while Marc Staal forced the power forward to the outside in the final three minutes of the period. When the horn sounded to end the first period the Rangers found themselves down a goal but leading in shots 16 to 5 over the Flyers.
Zuccarello led Rangers with three shots...Hayes 3 of 4 in the dots...thought Etem looked pretty good, not as lost. Mat be film work...— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 28, 2015
Quotes, Pictures, and Reflections on Riveters
Some highlighted players, over 250 mediocre hockey pictures, and some quotes from inside the Riveters' locker room after the game. Let's talk Riveters hockey.
All was quiet until the 18:20 mark of the second period when a Ryan McDonagh blast off of an offensive zone faceoff win forced Steve Mason to make a low save. Just past the three minute point of the second period Jakub Voracek made a gorgeous play to Michael Raffl who tipped a puck on net, but Raanta came up with a big pad stop. However, the Rangers took a penalty on the play and Dominic Moore had to watch the Flyers' power play from the penalty box after hooking Raffl on his scoring chance. On the penalty kill Rick Nash stole the puck in the Flyers' zone and fed Derek Stepan who nearly potted a shortie. The pressure from Nash and Stepan hammered some crucial seconds off of Philly's power play which was eventually killed off.
Viktor Stalberg of the Rangers took a high sticking call on Manning and gave the Flyers another power play with 13:42 left in the second period. Although the Flyers only managed one shot on goal during their power play they had the Rangers scrambling around the net and were dangerously close to making it a 2-0 game. Somehow, someway, the puck stayed out of the net and with 11:00 left in the second period the score remained 1-0 Flyers at even strength hockey.
A Rick Nash attack with just over 9:00 left in the period left a juicy rebound that Chris Kreider nearly pounced on to tie the game, after a line change a nice drop pass by Jesper Fast set up a point blast from Dylan McIlrath who rifled a low, hard shot into Steve Mason's pads through a screen.
Jarret Stoll took a hit up high from Mark Streit at center ice that got a reaction out of the Garden crowd after the Rangers had a few sloppy plays in their own end and in the neutral zone that put Raanta to work.
Suddenly the game opened up with around 5:00 left. A drop pass by Zuccarello created a great chance for Miller who was stopped by Miller and then when the Flyers went the other way Raanta came up big on a wrap-around stop. The Flyers came back with another rush that Dominic Moore masterfully broke up although a Flyer slid into the Rangers' net and created a stoppage.
Hayes sent a saucer pass through the slot and when Stalberg went hard to the net to tip it in Steve Mason was bowled over by Stalberg who was immediately pounced on by three Flyers. It was ruled that Stalberg didn't do enough to stop on the play even though MacDonald of the Flyers shoved Stalberg into the right post and Steve Mason. With 2:07 left in the second period the Flyers were back on the power play. It took almost no time at all for Wayne Simmonds to hammer a rebound past Raanta and give the Flyers' a power play goal and a 2-0 lead. The Rangers managed just 8 shots in the second period but they would be entering the third period on the power play. The shots were 24 to 17 after two periods in favor of the Rangers.
The Rangers started the third period with a little over a minute of power play time, but the only sniff they had at the net was a shot from the side of the net after a Keith Yandle breakout pass got away from him. Miller did well to get open.
A big hit by Stalberg helped keep the puck deep in the Flyers' zone and eventually Stalberg was sucker punched by one or two of the Schenn brothers to earn the Rangers a power play... which was quickly erased by Chris Kreider who held the stick of Radko Gudas off of the ensuing offensive zone faceoff.
The ensuing 4 on 4 hockey saw each team get about three odd-man rushes a piece in some of the most peculiar hockey we've seen in the preseason. After we got back to even strength Zuccarello got the puck in deep, sent a pass back to the blue line to Ryan McDonagh who ripped one at Steve Mason and then Dan Girardi, who had crept down low, hammered home the rebound. Just like that the Flyers' lead was cut in half.
Dan Boyle took a bad penalty after Girardi's goal and Antti Raanta came up huge on the penalty kill, turning aside deflections and solid chances from the lethal Flyers' power play. With 12:38 left in the third the Rangers held a 31 to 22 lead in the shots department.
Dan Boyle tugged Voracek's hands after the ginger-bearded Czech star came flying into the Rangers' zone with a little over 10:00 left in regulation. It certainly wasn't much of a hook, but the referees gave Voracek the call. Raanta came up with a nice stop on Voracek on the play in question. It appeared that Voracek appealed for a penalty shot on the play. Rick Nash and Stepan attacked shorthanded again and Nash unleashed a big slap shot that created a big rebound, when the puck went back into the Rangers' zone Claude Giroux tripped Stepan and put an end to Philly's PP. 1:12 of 4 on 4 play ensued. With the open ice Ryan McDonagh got the puck to Keith Yandle who ripped a shot towards Kevin Hayes for a dangerous set deflection play that Mason proved equal to. After the 4 on 4 hockey ended the Rangers' failed to get anything going on the power play, making them 0 for 5 on the net.
Raanta came up huge several times in the last ten minutes of the third period to keep his team within one goal. After a quiet first period, the Finnish netminder had to be sharp for his team and his play while the Rangers were shorthanded was very strong.
At 4:21 all hell broke loose. Wayne Simmonds went after Chris Kreider who came off of the Rangers' bench and took a body. The players on the ice all paired off and yapped but the referees settled things down. It appeared that Radko Gudas sparked the madness with a bit of a knee on knee hit to Stepan that spurred Kreider to take retribution on the nearest Flyer. The lowlight of the debacle was Wayne Simmonds giving Chris Kreider a few punches in the back of the head, because, y'know, the Flyers. After all was said and done the Rangers ended up on a power play.
Replay shows Gudas knee-to-knee on Stepan after puck was gone...— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 29, 2015
Proving once again that Radko Gudas is honestly just a terrible person.
Kevin Hayes hit the post on the ensuing power play on a rebound attempt. The power play ended without reward for the Rangers who were 0 for 6 on power plays after the failed special teams effort that came late in the third period. It appeared that the Rangers had squandered their big chance to tie the game.... or had they?
At 1:15 the Rangers pulled Raanta to get the extra attacker on the ice. After an offensive zone faceoff win, Chris Kreider scored his second goal of the preseason from Derek Stepan and Rick Nash with 1:07 left in regulation. Just like that, when all looked bleak and desperate in an absolutely meaningless game that Mike was getting very tired of writing about, the Rangers tied it up at 2-2. The day was at its darkest and all pitiful hopes for redemption and recovery were on their last breaths until a man who can jump clean out of a pool banged the puck home, turned to the Garden crowd, and bellowed, "NO, NOT THIS DAY."
With the score tied after regulation the teams met under a grand pavilion that was hastily erected at center ice by filthy finger nailed peasants caked in mud and horse leavings. Both clubs agreed that because of the dearth of squires, lances, and respectable destriers that a 3 on 3 overtime would be the best way to settle the game with a jousting tournament out of the question. A great deal of wine was spilled on the ice from the overflowing goblets and all of the lordly gesticulating and boasting from the Rangers and Flyers, but it was all cleaned up just in time for some more iced hockey.
Staal, Nash, and McDonagh opened the overtime period for the Rangers because Alain Vigneault had very little interest in winning the game. Rick Nash took down Voracek in the Rangers' zone and the superstar Czech forward was slow to get up and labored on his way to the bench. Hopefully Voracek was just shaken up and not seriously injured. Claude Giroux didn't like it, but, to be fair, he really doesn't like much, does he? Nash definitely should not have stuck his foot out on the play, but it appeared that he was making a play to kick the puck through Voracek. The Rangers got away with one there.
Keith Yandle, who is a fine hockey player, earned a penalty shot in overtime with 3:44 left before things would have to be settled by a skills competition. Perhaps a grand melee with morning stars and other medieval cudgels would be taken up by both clubs as they circled one another like near-starving jungle cats, waiting for a moment of weakness or a dropping of the guard... instead we had a penalty shot and Yandle scored on it. Before his penalty shot Yandle was 0 for 2 in his career in the one-man shootout, but that changed after he ripped a wrister past Steve Mason to give the Rangers the win. The Garden went bananas. Honestly, how the heck did the Rangers end up winning this one? At the end of the game the Rangers had 43 shots to the Flyers' 29 shots. At no point in the game was there any jousting or swordplay of any kind, everyone was quietly disappointing but very understanding about the whole situation.
Third star of the game- Steve Mason, who should have been the first star.
Second star of the game- Antti Raanta
First star of the game- Keith Yandle, who had a very nasty welt on his hand from blocking a shot earlier in the game.
Well, that was pretty nuts. The Rangers face the Bruins next and now have a record of 3-1-1 in the preseason. McIlrath was pretty darn solid tonight. Thoughts?
Thanks for reading. LGR. I lost it towards the end there. Like I said, I'm not Bryan.