The Flyers looked decent in the first period. Even with being out shot 14 – 6 they put out a superb effort to try to match the speed and forecheck of the New York Rangers. Andrew MacDonald scored the opening goal with a shot from the point that was screened beautifully by two Flyers. Scott Hartnell created MacDonald’s scoring chance by getting in on the forecheck and forcing a bad turnover.It’s that kind of offensive zone pressure the Flyers need to be able to sustain if they want to have a chance in this series. The Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello tied the game up about three and a half minutes later on a rebound goal that occurred due to a missed mark by Sean Couturier.
The Flyers looked over matched in the second period. Even though the shots were about even, with the Rangers coming out ahead 9 – 8, New York seemed to be camping out in the Flyers offensive zone. In addition to the Flyers woes in clearing their own zone, they were getting absolutely crushed in the neutral zone. The Rangers seemed to be able to enter and exit the neutral zone unimpeded while the Flyers struggled to just dump the puck in, much less carry the puck into the zone. With the exception of some chances by Brayden Schenn and Matt Read the Flyers offense was pretty non-existent. The Flyers Ray Emery was forced to make some good saves but was able to stop everything shot at him.
Less than a minute into the third period Scott Hartnell was able to draw a high-sticking penalty that sent the Rangers’ best defensman, Ryan McDonagh sent to the box. The Flyers however didn’t register a shot on goal. After the expiration of the power play the Rangers continued their puck possession dominance by constantly creating offensive zone faceoffs. Jason Akeson attempted an ill-advised check on Carl Hagelin that resulted in a double minor being assessed for a high stick that resulted in two power play goals being scored by Derek Stepan and Brad Richards. Gotta feel for Emery though because he had no shot on either of those goals. To finish off the scoring for the evening Carl Hagelin, bloody lip and all, found a rebound come right to his stick that once again Emery had no chance on. To encapsulate the evening, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn each took frustration penalties in the last three minutes.
Here’s the game’s fenwick chart via Extra Skater.
The Philadelphia Flyers after the first period looked pathetic. If you need confirmation, here it is.
Flyers had just 2 shot attempts in last 12:47. pic.twitter.com/YAs0Yscy04
— Extra Skater (@ExtraSkater) April 18, 2014
No one was backchecking or forechecking. If you asked what Flyers’ player I thought played the best, I’d answer Emery, that’s it. The team was bad, they should feel bad, and if they play like this again, this is going to be a short series. The series continues Sunday with the Rangers leading 1 – 0.
Chart provided by ExtraSkater.