The New York Rangers will play the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The last time these two teams faced off the Rangers walked out winners in the shootout. The Rangers will look to extend their win streak to three games, while the Flyers look to make up for their failure at Lake Tahoe.
As previously mentioned, the Rangers will come into this game trying to extend their win streak to 3 games. This is the first game they will not have Artemi Panarin, due to his leave of absence from the team. The Rangers will still be missing Kappo Kakko and K’Andre Miller, as well as Jacob Trouba and Filip Chytil long term. Igor Shesterkin will start in net following his win versus the Washington Capitals.
There’s no denying the Rangers will be missing a lot of stars, so they need to play a clean game. The Rangers can’t let the Flyers get rolling, because they won’t be able to stop them. Igor has to be a brick wall too. A lot needs to sway in the Rangers’ favor, but they need to worry about what they can control. Discipline, shots on goal for rebounds, and good goaltending are the keys in this game.
The Rangers start the game in the same way they’ve started many games, very slow. The defense is obviously missing Miller, as the Flyers are able to carve them up. Penalties are a huge problem, and the Flyers take a 2-1 lead off of them. Chris Kreider has a good rebound goal and Mika Zibanejad‘s name finally shows up on the scoreboard. Shesterkin stands on his head the best he can, but the defense has to do better for him. The Rangers will go into intermission down 2-1 and looking to even the game up.
The second period of this game almost mimicked the first. The Rangers take four penalties this period, two of the delay of game penalties. The Flyers capitalize with a goal, and a few individual defensive efforts keep it 3-1. Kreider scores his second of the game on almost the same rebound, and Zibanejad has another assist. Kevin Hayes puts the Flyers up 4-2 off of another poor defensive effort by the Rangers.
Shesterkin has played much better than the score shows. The Flyers could have 7 or 8 with the way the defense is playing. The Rangers are again facing a problem of discipline, which they’ve faced so many times this season. David Quinn’s coaching this game hasn’t helped any of this, however. The lack of an offensive game plan and discipline problems are both things Quinn needs to put an end to if the Rangers want to win. The period ends with the Rangers down 4-2 and trying to find a way back into the game.
The third period of this game goes slightly differently. The biggest difference is Shesterkin doesn’t give up a goal, and the Rangers played with a little more momentum. Other than that, the Blueshirts keep up what they’ve done all game. Poor discipline and lackluster coaching keep the Rangers from winning this game. Kreider gets a hat trick to put the Rangers within one, but it isn’t enough to win. The defense played abysmally and makes Shesterkin carry the team on his back to keep it close. Shesterkin faced a flurry of breakaways in the third alone and stood tall, not to mention every other shot. The inability to adapt and fix mistakes causes the Rangers to lose 4-3 and snap their two-game win streak.
Post Game Takeaways
There are positives to take away from the game, although very few. Kreider nets a hat trick off of three identical goals and Zibanejad finds some semblance of scoring with two assists. The biggest positive takeaway, however, is that Igor Olegovich Shesterkin is a brick wall. Don’t let the scoreboard fool you, without Shesterkin the Rangers lose that game 10-3, maybe more. When the Rangers get healthy and Igor has a less atrocious defense, watch out.
There were a lot of problems in this game though. The most obvious is the lack of defense. There were way too many defensive turnovers and it costed the Rangers on the scoreboard. It’s also near impossible to win a game by taking eight penalties. If the Rangers take fewer penalties the game is 3-3 or even 2-3. David Quinn is responsible for at the very least two of these, with two too-many-men penalties. David Quinn also coached another really bad game. If he doesn’t shape up soon he could be gone.
The New York Rangers’ next game is against the Boston Bruins, and they’ll try to turn their play around and win that one on Friday.