(To be honest, I did in fact not witness the first period due to work so this is what I gathered from fellow BSH contributors Brad and Jake)
- Giroux line had a fantastic opening shift
- Lundqvist was amazing as always
- Of course it was a Provy turnover that lead to the goal by Chris Kreider, why wouldn’t it be?
- That’s it
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The second period opened up with domination by the Flyers and the results came early, with a sweet snipe by Michael Raffl on a two-on-one just before the two minute mark. This was Raffl’s first goal of the season, much needed for Raff after posting just five assists in his first 20 games. Assisting on the goal was the red hot Travis Sanheim who has been one of the main benefactors of Scott Gordon stepping in as head coach.
Michael Raffl ties the game with his first of the season! pic.twitter.com/c7x6rxsrF5— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 24, 2018
New York would battle back after the goal and dominate play in the offensive zone for a few minutes, but the Flyers would rebound around the halfway mark of the period. That is, until Raffl the goal scorer took a tripping penalty at the 9:16 mark of the second putting the Flyers on the kill for the first time in the game. Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton were fantastic on the kill, keeping the Rangers chasing for much of their power play until Michal Neuvirth made a fine stop on the Rangers lone scorer Chris Kreider in close. They would finish off the remaining seconds and kill off the penalty.
Play would slow down in a big way over the next couple of minutes, with both teams putting together absolutely zero amounts of offense. After an apparent uncalled trip by Raffl, Brady Skjei would then be called for a trip sending the Flyers to the power play. They would come up empty handed however despite looking generally strong on their scoring chances, and before the Skjei penalty could end Patrick would head to the box on a holding penalty sending New York to their second power play. They would not score before the end of the period but would have over a minute remaining on the power play to start the final period with the score still tied at 1-1.
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Fantastic penalty kill work yet again would keep the score all knotted up and the Rangers stifled on the man advantage. Play would once again die down for a few minutes until the Rangers received a too many men (too much man) penalty sending the Flyers back to the power play. The Flyers would waste no time on the man advantage as Wayne Simmonds pounded home a rebound in front, his 11th goal of the season, to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. After a prolonged drought on the power play, the Flyers have back-to-back games with power play goals.
Simmonds gives the Flyers their first lead of the night. pic.twitter.com/TinGVL3iNW— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 24, 2018
The Rangers would come right back though as expected and, ah, checked my notes on this one as Boo Nieves scored the goal? That is certainly a name I was entirely unaware of prior to tonight’s contest but hey, that’s hockey. Nieves tied the game for the Rangers with just his second NHL goal.
Play would, yet again, slow down through the middle section of the final period. This seemed strange given it was a tie game between two divisional opponents. Maybe they just wanted Christmas break to come early? Regardless, play would begin to open up around the 13 minute mark of the third, as the Rangers dashed in for a chance that was stifled by the pad of Neuvirth who looked strong all night long. This trend would continue as New York would generate most of the chances in the following minutes including a great chance by Brett Howden who was stopped brilliantly by Neuvirth.
Neuvirth would make another spectacular stop with just over a minute remaining as the Flyers attempted to end this game before the end of regulation. That effort would come up short however as the Flyers and Rangers would head to overtime in the final game before the holiday break, as expected.
Voracek would almost end the game just a few seconds in as he flew through the neutral zone and fired one wide of Lundqvist. The Rangers would control the game over the next minute or so keeping the Flyers hemmed in their own zone. They would survive however and generate a chance of their own in a 2-on-1 between Patrick and Konecny but TK could not handle the pass from Patrick. Neither team would score in the overtime, sending this game to the dreaded shootout. Oh joy!
Zuccarello: NO SIR
Zibanejad: NOOOOO SIR
JVR: ohhhhh so close
Buchnevich: THANK YOU NEUVY
Patrick: OH BABY YES
Hayes: NO SIR, FLYERS WIN