The New York Rangers rallied back with three goals in the third period, but ultimately fell short in the shootout. It was a game in which the Blueshirts beat themselves early on, and made things a lot more difficult than they had to be by making defensive mistakes, having lackadaisical coverage, and just moments where the team just didn’t seem in the game.
Philadelphia scored at 5:44 of the first when Cam York put in a shot off a faceoff, and less than a minute late Owen Tippett took advantage of open space and put a second puck past Igor Shesterkin. This set the tone early on, and the game wouldn’t see another goal scored until the third period.
This season the Rangers have been a solid third period team, and there was an expectation that they’d be able to make things interesting given that the score was just 2-0. It was until Joel Farabee scored his 16th of the season just 44 seconds into the period. Again it was a case of the Rangers playing poor defensively which enable the Flyers to execute a give-and-go which resulted in another puck in the back of the net.
With things looking grim at 3-0, the Rangers finally got on the board when Artemiy Panarin tallied his 19th of the season after deflecting a shot on goal by Jacob Trouba to inject some life into the Rangers.
Over 14 minutes later the Rangers made another push, and this time it was Frank Vatrano helping to make things happen.
He put a shot on net which was pushed out by Martin Jones, and Mika Zibanejad was in the right place and the right time to burry his 27th of the season to make it a 3-2 game. What happened next was almost identical to what the Flyers pulled off in the first, but this time the Rangers didn’t need as much time.
Panarin took control of the puck and masterfully setup a streaking Andrew Copp who tallied his 16th goal of the season to tie things up at 3-3 just 12 seconds after Zibanejad’s strike.
From that point on the Rangers made another push, and were unable to capitalize on a powerplay which came just over a minute after the tying goal. No other goals were scored in the third, nor were there any in OT. Chris Kreider took a high sticking penalty with 34 seconds remaining, but the Rangers were able to force a shootout.
In the shootout Cam Atkinson shot first, and was stopped by Shesterkin. Mika Zibanejad went next and was also unsuccessful. Shesterkin stopped Owen Tippett, and Jones watched Panarin miss the net as the puck rolled on his stick at the last second. Kevin Hayes scored the lone goal of the shootout, a littler floater of a shot that Shesterkin seemingly wasn’t expecting, and Jones went on to make a final save as Filip Chytil tried to tuck it past him.
All in all Martin Jones made 43 saves on 46 shots, including 38 of 41 at even strength. Shesterkin stopped 23 of 26, and surrendered the lone goal in the shootout. The Rangers are off on Monday, and will look to get back on the right track on Tuesday vs. the New Jersey Devils.