Happy Black Friday, friends! Did you take a break from getting those deals to watch the Flyers? We’re, uh, we’re sorry about that. If you missed it or not, we’re still here, and we’re recapping this afternoon’s action. If we can call it that.
It’s almost become a forgone conclusion, in this stretch, that the Flyers would be starting slowly. The same could be said about this afternoon’s game, but the good news is that they didn’t do so disastrously. The broadcasters talked a good bit about goals scoring in the first minute, and the Flyers were able to make it out of that first minute without conceding one. Which we can absolutely call a win in and of itself.
And from the quiet start came a bit of pressure, as the Flyers were able to generate the first good look of the game, with a bomb from Radko Gudas coming in on goal from the blue line, and Dale Weise was in position to attempt a deflection. Henrik Lundqvist was able to stop it, but it was something.
It was a cleaner start, all told, but not perfect, and the turnover issue that plagued them in Wednesday’s game in Buffalo returned, as a turnover by Shayne Gostisbehere in the defensive zone led to the Rangers’ best chance so far of the game off the stick of Kevin Hayes. He couldn’t get enough elevation to create too much danger, and Calvin Pickard was able to turn it aside.
They responded well to this, though, as the Flyers were able to get the puck in the zone, care of a carry in and drive to the net by James van Riemsdyk. Again Lundqvist had the answer, but some buzz was picking up.
We hit the midpoint of the period, and Doc on the broadcast said ‘the hits in the game are the thing of interest right now” before we rolled to commercial, and he’s on to something. The Flyers had control of the puck for a good majority of the early part of the period, but they just couldn’t really do anything with it. Are we getting bored? I considered for a moment putting some more polish on my nails, right then in the middle of the period. But at least hits are fun or something, right?
But, hey, you know what? Puck possession eventually turns into goals, even if it happens in a weird way. Inside 14 minutes into the period, the top line again got into the zone and started pressuring. It was Travis Konecny that put the shot on goal, and Sean Couturier driving to the net to pick up any rebound. He wasn’t able to, but it’s just as well, because the puck deflected right in off of Brady Skjei who was defending Couturier. Weird, but a good hockey goal, all the same.
Travis Konecny might have to skjei thanks to Brady for that one. pic.twitter.com/QCemBwG8aN— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 23, 2018
The period ended with a bit more push from both sides—the Rangers got a bit of cycling going in the Flyers’ end but Pickard made the stops and they were able to get the puck cleared out. And then just like that, the Flyers had numbers and speed on the counter-rush, but their shot ended up blocked before it could make its way on goal.
AFTER ONE: Flyers 1, Rangers 0
We hit the second period, and didn’t even have enough time to wonder if the Rangers might come out with a bit more jump to start this one before they were doing just that. inside the first minute of the period, the Rangers took possession of the puck and started on a two-on-one. Pickard was able to make the save on that shot, but the balance looked to be turning early.
It looked for a while they we were going to just hit another long stretch of possession with little consequence, but the Flyers pulled it together, and it was a pretty nice play that they put together. It was Jordan Weal controlling the entry and getting the puck over to van Riemsdyk for the shot in close, but it was blocked away. Wayne Simmonds was in position for a chance, and there was a bunch of chipping away in front, but it just wouldn’t go.
The Flyers’ momentum was interrupted, when Oskar Lindblom took a high-sticking minor and sent the Rangers off to the power play. the Flyers won the opening faceoff and got the initial clear, but the Rangers were able to get a clean entry into the zone for a few seconds of cycling, but that was just about all they could manage before the Flyers got the next clear. And this would be the story of the rest of the attempt, as the Flyers worked well to disrupt their attempts and kick the puck out of the zone before the Rangers could get too well settled with it.
They came off the penalty kill with some jump, too, as it saw the regular second line (with Lindblom, Nolan Patrick, and Jake Voracek) put back together for an odd shift with Lindblom fresh out of the box, and able to generate a scoring chance. Like we’ve seen throughout the game, they were able to generate some pressure and traffic in front, but they couldn’t get it past Lundqvist. It was another great chance on the other side of the tv timeout on a rush with Patrick and Dale Weise, but it was the same story—Weise couldn’t get elevation on the shot and it stayed out.
And it’s getting chippy here, folks! After he dealt a hit along the boards, Konecny took Ryan Strome to task. That’s really all we have for you on that one. They fought. And then they stopped.
The Flyers weren’t done doing that momentum thing, and it got even better. Or, had the potential to. With Weise driving the net for a scoring chance, he couldn’t convert, but he did draw a hooking penalty, and the Flyers got a chance of their own on the power play.
The attempt that followed was, well, it was nothing if not predicable. The first unit started things off with a bit of pressure but couldn’t close. Then the puck was cleared and the second unit and came out and couldn’t get set up. Sure, they were without Konecny, but there wasn’t a whole lot there. Alas.
It may have been a lackluster power play attempt, but back at even strength, the Flyers held onto the momentum. They had another couple of very good looks, but found themselves robbed by Lundqvist.
They had a chance to go out with all that momentum, but they couldn’t be so lucky, as with just under a minute left in the period, Weise took a penalty and the Rangers had another chance on the man advantage. The first half of the power play wasn’t anywhere near as clean as their first go, as the Rangers got well set up in the zone and got themselves a couple of good chances. They were surging, but, mercifully, the period expired before they could convert. Saved by the bell.
AFTER TWO: Flyers 1, Rangers 0
And we’re back for the third and we’re still killing a penalty! It was just an abbreviated look, but the Flyers killed it off without incident. As was the case in their first go on the penalty kill, they were able to get control of the puck and keep it cleared, preventing the Rangers from getting set up well enough to generate much danger. And back to 5-on-5 we went.
The earlier part of the period saw the Rangers surging and working to keep the Flyers hemmed into their own end, but the Flyers did well to block their shots and prevent them from getting too much traffic in front. They weren’t without their looks, but the Flyers kept them from closing and maintained their lead.
They took some momentum from those much needed saves and took their own turn getting set up in the offensive zone. They had a couple of looks in front and then a shot form further out by Christian Folin that Lundqvist bobbled, but ultimately was able to turn aside. Stop us if you’ve hear this one before, they had some good chances through the middle of the period, but they just couldn’t get anything past Lundqvist.
And then Pickard made a great save in front on Andersson, which I could tell you more about, but I’m just going to leave you with this tweet.
Oh BABY.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 23, 2018
Cal PICKing up a big save here for the Flyers late in the game.
Anyway, the Rangers kept up the pressure and came so close to evening things up, but Tony DeAngelo’s shot rang off the post. And the Flyers responded to that not only by getting the puck out of the zone, but also by starting up an odd-man rush the other way. it was Giroux with the entry and the feed to Konecny, who got it over to Couturier, and he, crashing the net, just lasered it past Lundqvist who wasn’t fast enough across. And the Flyers extended their lead to two.
But before we get too excited, we have to talk about another penalty kill. With Hagg sending the puck over the glass right off the faceoff, the Rangers had another chance on the power play. It was a quiet go for them, and this was good news for the Flyers, who worked well to disrupt their passes and keep the puck out of the zone.
Just after the penalty expired, the Rangers pulled Lundqvist for the extra attacker, and the Flyers used this as a chance to put the game away. They collected the puck and it was Jordan Weal muscling his way into the zone and past the defender to knock it into the empty net from the angle.
But we’re not done! With Lundqvist back in net, the Flyers’ top line got back to work and made one more push. They surged in on the rush and it was another for Couturier, just how he beat Lundqvist the first time. And then we were done.
FINAL: Flyers 4, Rangers 0