Flyers vs. Rangers: The matchup battle in Game 5

Bruce Bennett

Let's see how the Flyers and Rangers matched their lines up in the 4-2 loss on Sunday.

You all know the drill by now. Click the links for Games onetwothree, and four matchup charts. On to Game 5, then.

Flyers forwards vs. Rangers forwards

F1 / Stepan (13.7) F2 / Richards (10.6) F3 / Brassard (10.1) F4 / D. Moore (8.8)
F1 / Giroux (13.9) 5.4 (+2/-4) 3.5 (+8/-4) 1.1 (+2/-1) 3.9 (+5/-0)
F2 / B. Schenn (9.8) 4.1 (+2/-5) 2.2 (+4/-1) 2 (+1/-3) 1.8 (+2/-0)
F3 / Couturier (14.2) 5.9 (+3/-9) 4 (+3/-2) 2.9 (+1/-3) 1.2 (+0/-0)
F4 / Hall (7.5) 1.7 (+0/-3) 1.4 (+0/-2) 3.3 (+2/-2) 1.1 (+0/-0)

How to read this chart: Claude Giroux played 13.9 minutes at 5-on-5. Derek Stepan played 13.7 minutes at 5-on-5. Giroux and Stepan were on the ice together for 5.4 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, during which the Flyers had two shot attempts and the Rangers had four. Shot numbers are not adjusted for zone starts. Ice time numbers from Extra Skater.

Flyers forwards vs. Rangers defensemen

D1 / McDonagh (16.6) D2 / Staal (15.0) D3 / J. Moore (10.7)
F1 / Giroux (13.9) 9.2 (+11/-7) 3.1 (+4/-1) 1 (+0/-1)
F2 / B. Schenn (9.8) 5 (+6/-3) 3.5 (+1/-4) 1.4 (+1/-3)
F3 / Couturier (14.2) 3.8 (+2/-3) 5 (+5/-6) 5.5 (+1/-5)
F4 / Hall (7.5) 2 (+0/-1) 2.2 (+0/-4) 3.9 (+2/-4)

Flyers defensemen vs. Rangers forwards

F1 / Stepan (13.7) F2 / Richards (10.6) F3 / Brassard (10.1) F4 / D. Moore (8.8)
D1 / Coburn (15.3) 5.9 (+2/-8) 3.3 (+3/-0) 2.9 (+1/-2) 2.7 (+0/-2)
D2 / Streit (15.5) 5.1 (+5/-2) 3.1 (+5/-5) 4.2 (+3/-3) 4.2 (+8/-0)
D3 / L. Schenn (12.9) 3.5 (+0/-6) 4.9 (+8/-4) 2.8 (+4/-2) 2.3 (+4/-0)

Full head-to-head shot differential chart here.

A couple of quick thoughts:

* On Friday, one of the biggest reasons the Flyers won was that they completely neutered the Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis line, as the combination of Sean Couturier's line and the Braydon Coburn-Kimmo Timonen pairing shadowed them for most of the game and allowed them just about nothing.

Sunday's game was a bit of a different story. Those two groups still got a decent chunk of ice time against Stepan's line, but this time they didn't do even close to as well against it -- both units ended up well in the red in their time against that line. Our concern was going to be that Alain Vigneault would do everything he could to avoid that matchup, but it turns out it actually worked out for him today.

* Meanwhile, Claude Giroux did spend most of his ice time against Ryan McDonagh after getting a bit of a reprieve from that in Games 3 and 4. However, Giroux actually won that matchup head-to-head and had his most productive game of the series, putting six shots on goal (and scoring late in the game with the extra attacker). That's an encouraging sign, and hopefully the sign of good things to come on Tuesday and (ideally) Wednesday.

* Not a whole lot of real noticeable other things on there, though Mark Streit's day is interesting. He managed to end up with the best shot differential of the team's defensemen, despite spending about half of his ice time with Hal Gill. That's an encouraging sign for Streit and maybe not as much of one for Gill.

Kevin expressed some concern before the game that the big problem with putting Gill in would probably be what it does to Streit. Streit was fine out there -- but with Craig Berube clearly not willing to give Gill much ice time (12:02 total, 10:53 at evens), the rest of the D-pairs were in flux a bit.

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