Recap: Rangers Make It 10, Rempe First NHL Goal 

Recap: Rangers Make It 10, Rempe First NHL Goal 
Feb 24, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Nicolas Deslauriers (44) and New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) fight in the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry week continued as the Rangers headed into the city of brotherly love to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. It wouldn’t be as dominant of a showing as they had in Newark the other day, but the Rangers definitely built off that momentum and found a way to come out on top against a strong Flyers team. The Rangers are now riding a ten game win streak as everything has seemed to click for this group as of late, including some outstanding goaltending from Igor Shesterkin.

1st Period:

It wasn’t the quickest start to the game but boy did things pick up when that fourth line took the ice. Just three minutes in, Matt Rempe and Nicolas Deslauries very nonchalantly dropped the gloves for what was probably one of, if not the most spirited tilts of the season. The scrap was a bit premeditated as the veteran winger approached Rempe, who now has almost triple the amount of penalty minutes as he does time on ice, before the game during warm-ups. (Rempe’s career TOI before today’s fight was just under ten minutes, his career PIM total was now 27)

Say what you will about Rempe, fighting and its role in the game of hockey but man, there really is something to be said about what this kid has not only brought to the Rangers, but what he has done to establish himself in this league. Not only is he providing a spark for his teammates, but he’s earning the respect of well-respected veteran enforcers, making a name for himself in the process.

The Flyers came close about seven minutes in as Joel Farabee came down on a breakaway and was slowed down a bit by Adam Fox but ultimately lost control of the play. Not long after the scoring chance, Alexis Lafrenière was awarded the first penalty of the game as he got his stick caught up in the midsection of Travis Sanheim. The power play would only last about twenty seconds as Joel Farabee was sent off for interfering with Igor Shesterkin as the Rangers netminder was trying to pick up his stick he lost earlier in the play.

With not enough time for either team to set up a proper power play, the game remained scoreless through the first half of the period. It wouldn’t be long before the Flyers saw their first full chance with the man advantage just over the midway point of the period as Erik Gustafsson took a lazy high sticking penalty in the offensive zone. That’s two games in a row where the Rangers veteran defender took a bit of a weak penalty but nevertheless, the Rangers penalty killers continued to find success as they fought off the Flyers with ease.

Aside from the big scrap, it was a real quiet opening period as there weren’t many high danger scoring chances at either end of the ice as the score would be locked at zero heading into the first intermission. The Rangers struggled big time in the face-off circle as they lost the first ten in a row and would finish the period out, winning only 25% of their draws. Shots were 18-9 in favor of the Flyers as Shesterkin was continuing to play like the Vezina calibur goaltender we know he can be.

2nd Period:

The Rangers quickly had the advantage in the second period as Joel Farabee took his second trip to the penalty box after high-sticking Adam Fox just 51 seconds in. It wouldn’t do them any favors as the Flyers, who have the second best penalty kill in the league, continued to shut down both of the Rangers power play units to keep things tied up at zero.

The fourth line would have one of the most effective shifts for the Rangers up to this point where Rempe was able to get a stick on a shot from the point that resulted in a scramble in front of goaltender Samuel Ersson. For what it’s worth, the Flyers were defending the Rangers really well as they were doing a great job of limiting their chances, keeping them from getting their offense going.

With just over eleven minutes to go in the second, K’Andre Miller took a stick up high from Garnet Hathaway that was deemed a double minor penalty which gave the Rangers a great chance to finally break into this game. The Flyers however, continued to be aggressive on the penalty kill as Scott Laughton very quickly took the puck the other way and ripped a shot off a post.

It took the Rangers over two minutes of the power play to register a shot on goal and finally had a threatening scoring chance with a minute-forty to go as Lafrenière came in and pulled off a nice move that required a big save from Ersson. That would about do it for the big power play as Artemiy Panarin would cut it short as he was sent off for holding Cam Atkinson in an attempt to slow him down in the Rangers end of the ice.

With 50 seconds remaining on the 4-on-4, Lafrenière entered the Flyers zone and let a hard wrist shot go that snuck through Ersson to finally get the Rangers on the board. That’s now three games in a row where the Rangers were able to convert on 4-on-4 play.

The back half of the second period would be a pretty low event as the Rangers would end up carrying that 1-0 lead into the second intermission. The Rangers picked things up as they held Philly to just five shots on goal throughout the period while registering 10 of their own. The Rangers were struggling to play their game but were still managing to find ways with the puck. They just had to continue to hold off the Flyers that weren’t going to go down without a final push.

3rd Period:

The Flyers were off to a much more offensive start in the third as they were applying strong sustained pressure, registering five shots on goal in the process. Several of which, Shesterkin was left sprawling out to take away any potential rebounds. It was only a matter of time before the Flyers were able to break through him and the Rangers as Tyson Forester tucked away a pass on the wrap-around from Scott Laughton to make it a 1-1 game.

The goal woke the Rangers up a bit and about five minutes later, they were able to regain the lead. Talked earlier about the fourth line and how they had one of the more noticeable shifts of the night for the Rangers. Part of why they were continuing to find success against this Flyers team was because of their heavy forechecking, physical style of play. It was the only thing that was really able to stand out against the strong defensive game Philly was bringing and sure enough, it would pay off.

As Fox sent the puck over to Braden Schneider at the point, Rempe planted himself right in front of the net to provide a screen and from the looks of it, was able to redirect the shot for his first NHL goal. The goal ended up being credited to Barclay Goodrow who got the initial redirect on the Schneider shot but either way, you can’t discredit Rempe’s efforts both on the play and the game as a whole. Eventually, the goal was properly credited to Rempe.

Closer to the midway point of the third, the Rangers got yet another chance on the power play as Sean Couturier got the stick up high on Adam Fox. At this point, power plays were doing the Rangers more harm than good and that was further proven to be true as the Flyers ended up with a 2-on-0 turned breakaway as Travis Sanheim ended up taking the puck in on Shesterkin. The Rangers netminder was patient and came up with an excellent save to help his team hold onto their one goal lead.

With just under five minutes to go, K’Andre Miller got caught chasing Couturier and ended up slashing him right in the face to give the Flyers a power play. The Flyers dominated the entire two minutes and as the man advantage was nearing its end, pulled Ersson for the extra attacker. Morgan Frost had as good a chance as you can get right at the doorstep but Shesterkin was able to shut him down with some help from Fox in the goal crease.

With the net empty, the Flyers continued to push to tie the game but couldn’t manage to regain any momentum in the Rangers zone. Igor Shesterkin once again had a great opportunity for the goal he so clearly craves but it was unfortunately picked off by a Flyers defenseman at their blueline. He would have to come up with one more strong effort as Couturier nearly tied the game up in the final ten seconds but nevertheless, the Rangers held on and skated away with a 2-1 win for their tenth in a row.

Ten consecutive wins ties the franchise record for longest win streak as the Rangers have only done so twice before in the 1972-73 and 1939-40 seasons. In addition to that streak, the Rangers have now only allowed one goal in each of their last three games. Safe to say, this team is on a heater. What a game as the Rangers fourth line had a big day and stepped up as their top players were shut down by the Flyers defense. They’ll be right back at it tomorrow as they look to make history in Columbus.