After absolutely destroying the Philadelphia Flyers in their previous two meetings, the Rangers were on the losing end of the battle this afternoon. A late third period goal by Samuel Morin gave the Flyers their only lead of the game, and they were able to hang on until the final horn. Igor Shesterkin had another huge outing for New York as he kept the Rangers alive in the middle part of the game and turned aside 35 shots on the afternoon.
Mika Zibanejad (11) - Ryan Strome (20) & Adam Fox (24) PPG - 10:54
Despite being out-shot early on in the game, the Rangers had a power play opportunity midway through the first period and took advantage. Travis Konecny gave the Rangers the man-advantage after taking down Mika Zibanejad well after the whistle, and caught the attention of the officials. Adam Fox and Ryan Strome were able to carve up the Flyers with two quick passes at the top of the umbrella, and Zibanejad somehow slipped behind Philadelphia undetected. Strome saw the passing lane right from the moment it opened and Zibanejad slammed home his 11th goal of the season to continue his scoring rampage.
Nolan Patrick (4) - Shayne Gostisbehere (6) & Sean Couturier (15) PPG - 12:52
New York got into some penalty trouble in the second period as Chris Kreider and Kevin Rooney were sent off on consecutive tripping minors. That setup an extended 5-on-3 opportunity for the Flyers who struggled getting setup in the offensive zone. After some audible boos from the crowd, Philadelphia finally started getting pucks to the front of the net. Nolan Patrick was able to catch a redirection at the top of the crease on a point blast from Shayne Gostisbehere, and he beat Igor Shesterkin under the glove hand. Prior to the goal, the Rangers had done an excellent job of keeping the Flyers to the perimeter, and were just three seconds away from escaping unscathed.
Samuel Morin (1) - Nicolas Aube-Kubel (6) & Michael Raffl (5) - 15:33
The Rangers had trouble generating some offensive zone time in the third period, and as a result, the Flyers controlled a decent portion of the game. With under five minutes remaining in regulation, a miscommunication between Brendan Smith and Libor Hajek was the death blow. The Flyers had transitioned on an 2-on-2 rush into the offensive zone, and both defenders gravitated towards the puck. That allowed Philadelphia to gain complete control of the play, and the puck eventually moved back to Samuel Morin.
Igor Shesterkin had plenty of traffic in front of him, and the shot by Morin somehow eluded the goaltender. Morin’s first career in the NHL held up as the game-winner as New York was unable to find an answer.
Overall, it wasn’t a very polished game for the Rangers like we saw on Thursday night. While they were pretty strong defensively, the Rangers didn’t generate nearly enough chances in the offensive zone as they had previously. Igor Shesterkin was the saving grace this afternoon as he made several highlight worthy saves to keep this game within reach for the Rangers. Following a tough loss to the Flyers, the Rangers will turn right back around tomorrow afternoon for a two-game set against the Washington Capitals.