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Rangers vs. Flyers: Kreider Scores Hat Trick But Rangers Fall Short in Philadelphia

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The New York Rangers, who were running with a severely depleted lineup with the absence of Artemiy Panarin and K’Andre Miller, were defeated 4-3 by the Philadelphia Flyers. Chris Kreider tried his best to single handedly carry the Rangers with his hat trick, but they just fell short. Igor Shesterkin was the starting goaltender this evening, and had a very strong outing with a 35-save effort.

1st Period

Erik Gustafsson (1) - Shayne Gostisbehere (2) & Claude Giroux (11) - 7:48

Philadelphia was able to make early work of their offensive zone time in this game, and they jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 7:48 mark. The initial play seemed rather harmless as Shayne Gostisbehere moved the puck across the blue line to Erik Gustafsson. Gustafsson was able to immediately wire a one-timer towards the net and it appeared to handcuff Igor Shesterkin, even though there was minimal traffic in front.

Chris Kreider (6) - Mika Zibanejad (3) & Adam Fox (7) PPG - 9:32

Despite giving up the early marker against, the Rangers immediately flipped the script just under two minutes later on the power play. The goal was created right off of the faceoff win by Mika Zibanejad, and Adam Fox threw a quick shot on goal to generate the rebound. Chris Kreider was right on the doorstep to pickup the loose puck left by Brian Elliott, and knotted the game at 1-1.

Shayne Gostisbehere (1) - Erik Gustafsson (8) & Claude Giroux (12) PPG - 15:31

With a little under five minutes remaining in the first period, the Flyers were able to restore their one-goal lead with a power play goal of their own. Following some extended zone time by Philadelphia, Erik Gustafsson fired a quick shot but wound up missing the net wide. However, the lively boards kicked the puck right back into the high slot and Shanye Gostisbehere jumped on the loose puck. Igor Shesterkin was unable to react to the quick change in direction, and the Flyers regained a 2-1 lead.

2nd Period

James van Riemsdyk (9) - Joel Farabee (7) & Sean Couturier (5) PPG - 4:05

New York’s penalty kill continued to struggle in the second period as they gave up their second goal against while down a player. This time around, it was James van Riemsdyk capitalizing on a beautiful centering feed from Joel Farabee. JVR was able to slip in undetected just off to the left of net, and Farabee put the puck right on his tape for an easy tap-in.

Chris Kreider (7) - Mika Zibanejad (4) & Ryan Strome (5) PPG - 8:03

Chris Kreider continued his dominance in this game and picked up his second goal of the night with the man-advantage. Kreider was able to open up on the far right post, and capped off a beautiful passing play between Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad immediately fired the puck across the ice to Kreider, who kicked the puck to his stick, and scored on the yawning net.

Kevin Hayes (7) - Claude Giroux (13) & Philippe Myers (4) - 14:37

A little over six minutes after Kreider’s tally, Philadelphia 4-2 lead courtesy of Kevin Hayes’ seventh goal of the season. Claude Giroux was able to setup Hayes with a crisp cross-ice feed entering the offensive zone. Hayes was able to corral the puck through some traffic in front, and somehow flipped the puck under the crossbar. Igor Shesterkin appeared stunned that the shot made it on goal, and Hayes gave the Flyers a much needed insurance marker.

3rd Period

Chris Kreider (8) - Ryan Lindgren (5) & Colin Blackwell (3) - 3:27

At this point, it was pretty much Chris Kreider vs the Philadelphia Flyers as he picked up his third career hat trick. In almost identical fashion to his previous two goals, Kreider hovered around the front of the net looking for the loose puck. Colin Blackwell was able to create the chance by just throwing the puck at the net, and it generated a rebound. Brian Elliott was unable to locate the loose puck, and Kreider tapped home his eighth of the season.

Considering the recent circumstances surrounding the Rangers and the lineup they were forced to play with tonight, I think they faired pretty well. Missing Artemiy Panarin is obviously a huge blow, and then losing K’Andre Miller to the COVID protocol list prior to the game certainly did them no favors. Chris Kreider was simply a beast tonight for New York, and could have had more than three goals with the chances he had tonight. Philadelphia simply made the most of the chances they were given, and the Rangers just couldn’t find a way to catch back up.

Following tonight’s loss to the Flyers, they Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before they faceoff against the Boston Bruins on Friday evening. Friday’s contest will also mark the first time in a year that fans will be allowed back into Madison Square Garden.