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Another Day, Another Loss: Rangers 2, Flyers 1

Final - 12.19.2009 1 2 3 Total
New York Rangers 1 1 0 2
Philadelphia Flyers 1 0 0 1

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[Box Score] - [Full Coverage] - [NYR Reaction]

No words. I have no idea what to say. I'm getting sick of having to write stories about how badly the Flyers played, how they didn't deserve to win, and how they still can't score. How bad are the Flyers? They scored one goal against a team that has been giving up 2.91 per game, good for 9th most in the league.

The Rangers won the battle at even-strength, outscoring the Flyers 2-0 at 5-on-5 play. How rare is this? The Rangers have a -8 goal deferential at 5-on-5 play. Yet the Flyers can't get a goal at even strength. The power play wasn't any better, going 1 for 5.

One of the most telling things in this game was Peter Laviolette calling a timeout after the Rangers first goal. Just over 5 minutes into the game, the Rangers had already outshot the Flyers 5-1 when Claude Giroux had a pass from his knees get picked off in his own zone. Chris Drury put the turnover in the net and Laviolette called a timeout. Not a good start to the game.

In his post-game press conference, Peter Laviolette was clearly not happy:

"It was a poor start, there's no excuse for it. I can't think of one reason why we would come out flat, but we did. We needed the time out to try and refocus. I would have thought we would have ripped the hinges off the gate tonight to get on the ice. We were so far from that in my opinion, to start the game, and we got what we deserved."

The game-winning goal was scored by Artem Ansimov, as his centering pass went off of Ryan Parent's shin pad and past Boucher. It was a lucky bounce, but Ryan Callahan won the battle against Parent in the corner, then beat Parent for positioning in front of the net. They earned their luck, something the Flyers haven't been doing.

After the jump, Random Thoughts, Questions with Answers, highlights, and the Comment of the [Afternoon].

Random Thoughts:

  • Mika Pyorala only played 5:05 tonight, but he had as many shots on goal as Danny Briere (1) who played 19:45. And it was a scoring chance at that.
  • With that in mind, I think it's safe to say Pyorala will be a scratch when Darroll Powe returns to the lineup.
  • Speaking of returning to the lineup, Simon Gagne was rather impressive in his first game back. He logged 20:16 of ice time, had a key assist on Pronger's goal, and showed a lot of jump in his skates. It's good to have him back.
  • This team's offensive plan is rather predictable. I have a hard time believing the opposing team is surprised by anything the Flyers do in the offensive zone. That makes it easy to defend.
  • This was mentioned in the game thread by Prometheus74, but the Flyers have now scored 17 goals in their last 11 games. Only twice have they scored more than two goals in that time period, both of them wins. They have only scored 8 goals in their last 9 losses.
  • The Flyers won the faceoff battle (53%), the shot battle (37-24), and the penalty battle (5-2), but not the war.
  • District 5.

Questions with Answers:

  1. How does Gagne perform now that he's back in the lineup? He only had one goal in the nine games he played this season, if you remember. He played very well. No goals, but an assist to go along with a strong forecheck.
  2. Do Hartnell and Carter carry over the chemistry they displayed on Thursday? I wasn't impressed with Hartnell at all today, but the Carter-Hartnell-Briere line was the best today.
  3. Can the Flyers successfully stop Marian Gaborik? Yes. Just under 21 minutes of ice time, no points and only 1 shot.
  4. How many people actually make it to the game today? Eh. Two-thirds capacity? I'm obviously not sure. Anybody have a better answer?


Comment of the Night:

Pronger can’t shoot from the point (said two minutes before Pronger scores the tying goal)