Well, that was certainly different for this Rangers team.
The New York Rangers finally snapped their three game losing skid, and did so in rather dominating fashion, with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Not to mention, this was the first time since December 9 that the Rangers allowed less than 30 shots on goal. As a result, it was a fairly easy night for Henrik Lundqvist given that he wasn’t left to fend for himself in the crease.
This game didn’t conclude without a hiccup though, as Jordan Weal stunned the Garden crowed just 2:06 into the first period. Weal was able to catch a slight deflection on Radko Gudas’ point shot, and slipped the puck just under Lundqvist’s left arm. The early goal against appeared to deflate the Rangers energy, but unlike previous games, they responded and kept their foot on the gas.
Nearly four minutes after Weal’s tally, Pavel Buchnevich sent Rick Nash in all alone on a breakaway and Nash made easy work of Brian Elliot. Nash’s equalizer would set the tone for the remainder of the game, and led to two more goals with the shift in momentum. J.T. Miller gave the Rangers their first and only lead of the night near the end of the period with a deflection on Ryan McDonagh’s wrist shot from the point.
The Rangers closed out the first period with a shorthanded goal coming from Paul Carey, which was assisted by Peter Holland, who was recently recalled from Hartford. The second period would prove to more of the same for the Rangers, as they added two more goals to make it a 5-1 game.
Michael Grabner tallied the Rangers’ fourth goal after stripping the puck from Jakub Voracek at the blue line, and snapped the puck past Brian Elliot. Grabner’s goal also marked the 20th of the season, as he continues to be a goal scoring machine on a bargain contract. Rick Nash closed out the scoring for the Rangers later on in the second period, with his second of the night, and wired a quick shot over the shoulder of Elliot.
With a four goal lead firmly in hand, the Rangers went into shutdown mode during the third period, and kept the Flyers contained. Overall, this was a nice trend in the opposite direction after the Rangers have been under siege for the last handful of games. The penalty kill came up huge tonight, and the Rangers did an excellent job of suppressing shots in their own zone.
The Rangers will have one more home game on Thursday night, against the Buffalo Sabres, before heading out West on a four game road trip.