The New York Rangers won their fourth straight game this evening with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. New York jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the game, and fell back a bit later in the game to protect their lead. Igor Shesterkin was a monster once again in the crease, and even though the score looked lopsided, he did more than his fair share to keep the Rangers above water.
Jacob Trouba (4) - Kaapo Kakko (4) & Nils Lundkvist (3) PPG - 3:41
The Rangers went to work with an early power play advantage just under four minutes into the opening frame. With under 30 seconds remaining in man-advantage, the Rangers worked the puck around up top to shift the Flyers out of position. The puck eventually made its way over to Jacob Trouba, who absolutely blasted a slap shot from just inside the blue line. There was plenty of traffic in front of Carter Hart to disrupt his vision, and the puck sailed over his shoulder to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Dryden Hunt (3) - Artemiy Panarin (17) & Adam Fox (18) - 9:32
A little under five minutes later, Dryden Hunt doubled up the Rangers’ lead with his third goal of the season. A few seconds prior to his goal, Hunt was absolutely robbed with a great glove save by Carter Hart. Gerard Gallant elected to keep the line out there after generating several good chances, and they were finally rewarded for their efforts. Artemiy Panarin started the play with a beautiful outlet pass through the middle of the ice. Dryden Hunt was able to catch the puck in transition, kicked the puck off of his skate, and slipped the puck between Hart’s legs.
Chris Kreider (16) - Kaapo Kakko (5) & Mika Zibanejad (13) - 0:34
Carrying a two-goal lead over into the second period, the Rangers wasted no time adding to their lead. The trio of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko completely torched the Flyers with three crisp passes in the offensive zone. Kakko made the final pass through the middle of the slot, and found Chris Kreider cutting to the net. While falling, Kreider was able to shovel a shot towards the net, and wound up slipped the puck under Carter Hart. It was just unbelievable patience from all three forwards, and the goal gave the Rangers a commanding 3-0 lead.
Morgan Frost (1) - Cam Atkinson (5) & Claude Giroux (11) - 9:37
Just prior to the halfway mark of the second period, the Flyers finally stopped the bleeding courtesy of Morgan Frost. Igor Shesterkin was playing out of his mind throughout the game, but the Flyers were finally able to break through on a rebound at the top of the crease. The initial shot from Cam Atkinson gave Shesterkin some trouble as he was attempting to freeze the puck. Shesterkin never got his glove fully over the puck, and Morgan Frost was able to tap home the loose puck.
Artemiy Panarin (6) - Unassisted ENG - 19:16
The Rangers had several opportunities to ice the game with the empty net, and Artemiy Panarin finally scored on the yawning cage. He was able to strip the puck at the blue line from Claude Giroux, and immediately fired the puck into the empty net. The goal put the finishing touches on the Rangers fourth straight win.
Even after having five days off on the schedule, the Rangers were firing on all cylinders right from the opening faceoff. Their offense continues to click, and they continue to find ways to pick up points in the standings. As it standings right, the Rangers are just two points back from the Metropolitan Division lead, and have won eight of their last nine games. Following tonight’s win over the Flyers, the Rangers will be back in action on Friday night as they host the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden.