Following an entertaining loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers were back in action this evening against the Philadelphia Flyers. This was a pretty tight defensive game for both teams, and needed the shootout to decide who was taking home the second point. Both Michal Neuvirth and Henrik Lundqvist stood on their heads in the shootout, but unfortunately Nolan Patrick was the only one to break the scoreless tie in the shootout.
Chris Kreider (17) - Assists: Kevin Hayes (20) & Marc Staal (7)
The Rangers had yet another quick start to this game, and were able to jump out to the early 1-0 lead the 10 minute mark of the first period. Kevin Hayes setup this entire goal with a beautiful spin pass in the neutral zone that found Chris Kreider breaking into the zone all alone. Kreider was able to get off a quick snap shot in stride, and beat Michal Neuvirth over the pad to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Michael Raffl (1) - Assists: Travis Sanheim (8)
Early in the second period, the Flyers were able to get a chance of their own and they took full advantage of the odd-man opportunity. Neal Pionk did an excellent job of taking away the cross-ice pass, but wound up giving too much space to Michael Raffl and he ripped the puck past Henrik Lundqvist.
Wayne Simmonds (11) - Assists: Sean Courtier (13) & Jakub Voracek (11)
Another early period blunder wound up costing the Rangers the go-ahead goal early in the third period. An undisciplined too-many-men penalty put the Rangers down a man, and as per usual, the puck ended up in the back of their net almost immediately. Wayne Simmonds collected a loose puck in a net-front scramble and slammed home the rebound to give the Flyers their first lead of the night.
Boo Nieves (1) - Assists: Lias Andersson (3)
Thankfully, it took the Rangers only 22 seconds to respond and erase their self-inflicted wound. Lias Andersson did an excellent job of forechecking Ivan Provorov, knocked him off of the puck, and quickly dished the puck back out front all in one motion. Boo Nieves was wide open in the high slot and ripped the one-timer shot past Neuvirth to bring the Rangers back even once again. You could tell this was a big goal for Nieves, because as nice as the pass was to set him up, the celebration was even better.
3-2 Flyers - Shootout
After some pretty entertaining end-to-end action in the overtime period, this game headed to the shootout for the seventh time this season. The goaltenders were absolutely superb in the shootout and were able to shutdown every single chance to keep the shootout scoreless. Finally, Nolan Patrick was able to snipe his shot past Henrik Lundqvist, and Kevin Hayes just barely missed for the Rangers to close out the game. The puck just barely slipped off of Hayes stick with Neuvirth sprawling in the crease.
Following tonight’s loss in the shootout, the Rangers will head into the Christmas break before returning to action on Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.