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Flyers vs. Rangers: How the teams matched lines and pairings in Game 2

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Let's take a quick look at how the Flyers and Rangers matched up in Game 2.

This picture has nothing to do with matchups but it's a pretty great picture.
This picture has nothing to do with matchups but it's a pretty great picture.
Paul Bereswill

Following Thursday's loss in Game 1 of the Flyers' series with the Rangers, we went through the matchups that took place in the game and ultimately didn't find a ton of noteworthy trends. Let's do the same for Sunday's win in Game 2, briefly going through  all three matchup tables with some quick thoughts.

Flyers forwards vs. Rangers forwards

F1 / Stepan (14.2) F2 / Richards (11.2) F3 / Brassard (10.0) F4 / D. Moore (8.2)
F1 / Giroux (16.0) 8.8 (+5/-5) 1.8 (+0/-2) 1.3 (+0/-1) 4.2 (+2/-5)
F2 / B. Schenn (13.0) 2.9 (+3/-3) 4.8 (+2/-4) 2.8 (+3/-5) 2.5 (+0/-4)
F3 / Couturier (13.2) 1.9 (+4/-1) 4.9 (+5/-3) 6.0 (+8/-10) 0.4 (+0/-0)
F4 / Hall (3.8) 1.4 (+0/-5) 0.1 (+0/-1) 1.4 (+0/-3) 1.0 (+0/-1)

How to read this chart: Claude Giroux played 16.0 minutes at 5-on-5. Brad Richards played 11.2 minutes at 5-on-5. Giroux and Richards were on the ice together for 1.8 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, during which the Flyers had zero shot attempts and the Rangers had two. Shot numbers are not adjusted for zone starts.

Flyers forwards vs. Rangers defensemen

D1 / McDonagh (17.1) D2 / Staal (16.6) D3 / J. Moore (10.4)
F1 / Giroux (16.0) 7.9 (+1/-4) 7.7 (+6/-7) 0.7 (+0/-1)
F2 / B. Schenn (13.0) 5.1 (+3/-7) 6.0 (+1/-9) 1.9 (+4/-0)
F3 / Couturier (13.2) 3.9 (+4/-7) 2.9 (+6/-1) 6.8 (+8/-6)
F4 / Hall (3.8) 0.9 (+0/-2) 1.1 (+0/-2) 1.8 (+0/-4)

Flyers defensemen vs. Rangers forwards

F1 / Stepan (14.2) F2 / Richards (11.2) F3 / Brassard (10.0) F4 / D. Moore (8.2)
D1 / Timonen (10.8) 5.4 (+7/-4) 1.8 (+3/-2) 2.3 (+2/-4) 1.3 (+1/-1)
D2 / Streit (15.5) 3.2 (+2/-3) 4.6 (+4/-3) 3.6 (+6/-3) 4.2 (+1/-8)
D3 / L. Schenn (15.4) 5.2 (+3/-5) 3.8 (+0/-3) 3.2 (+1/-7) 3.3 (+0/-2)

Some thoughts on the above three tables:

* It happened a bit in Game 1, but Giroux's line often ended up out there in full-on power vs. power situations. The captain spent just over half of his minutes against the Rangers' top line and just about all of his minutes against one of their top two pairings. As you likely heard, Giroux went without a shot on goal in the game again, and he overall didn't do a great job in possession, so we'll have to see if Berube does anything in Game 3 to try and get him a little more room.

* Adam Hall helped set up the Flyers' game-winning goal by getting the initial shot on Henrik Lundqvist during the delayed penalty and he had a shorthanded breakaway in the third, but things did not go his way at 5-on-5. Yikes. He and Zac Rinaldo were both not on the ice for a single 5-on-5 attempt for, and one of the only shifts they spent on the ice with New York's top line ended in the Rangers' first goal. The Flyers don't need their fourth line to be outstanding, but they need it to be a little bit better than that. (Vincent Lecavalier also struggled with those guys, though he ended up getting moved up to the Brayden Schenn line later on in the game.)

* By contrast, for the second straight game Dominic Moore, Brian Boyle and the Rangers' fourth line did a great job basically no matter who they faced off with. Can that stop? It's annoying me.

* We mentioned on Thursday that the Streit/Grossmann pairing and the Schenn/MacDonald pairing both got noticeably more ice time than the "top pairing" of Kimmo Timonen/Braydon Coburn did. Surely enough, that trend continued yesterday. Coburn and Timonen both did a pretty respectable job in terms of possession yesterday, but they both had a couple of rough moments (in particular, Coburn had a few misplays, miscoverages and penalties that I'm sure he'd like to forget). Whether it's a result of merit, matchups, or something else, it's peculiar.

* Good thing Luke Schenn scored a goal because man that is not a pretty day at the office otherwise.

* All in all, still not a ton of really noticeable matchups have developed through two games. A lot is being made of Giroux and McDonagh, but after Giroux spent just under half of his ice time against the Rangers' top defenseman yesterday, maybe we'll hear less about that one in the next couple of days. But as for the rest of it, we'll check back after Game 3 and see if things look any different once Craig Berube has last change.