A team effort, and a Voracek impression of Superman, gave the Flyers a vital two points as the team tried to claw back into a playoff spot in a game they needed to have.
CF:10 CA:11 CF%: 47.62% ZENO:2
After an initial flurry from the Rangers, the Flyers were able to seize control of the game, netting a six-chance advantage that saw them score twice. With a comfortable lead, they adopted a more defensive posture and were often able to deny the Rangers the entry into the zone
The lone exception was a turnover by Nicolas Aube-Kubel that resulted in a chance, and a penalty, that saw Lafreniere miss a yawning goal mouth from a tough angle. NAK’s turnover was the only blemish on a pretty solid defensive period
CF:10 CA:17 CF%:37.04 ZENO:0
After strangling the Rangers offense in the first period, the second period was the opposite. Right from the opening whistle, the Rangers showed an energy and determination that the Flyers were unable to match. The Rangers took advantage of their struggles with second period shift changes.
The Flyers relied heavily on the dump in with only a limited forechecking effort, happy to sacrifice offensive zone pressure for good defensive positioning in the neutral zone. But even with the defensive posture, they still had trouble completing line changes, and the Rangers took advantage generating odd man rushes.
By the period end the Rangers had an plus 8 scoring chance advantage, and had scored three goals. Each of the goals required Carter Hart to try to go from post to post make the save, with nary a Flyer in sight to deter the Rangers’ attempt. The period would end tied at three.
Third Period and Overtime
CF10:CA12: CF% 45.45 ZENO:1
The Rangers would strike early, with an unchallenged one-time attempt from the slot, after Prosser and Nolan Patrick each failed to control the puck. The Flyers would bounce back tying the game on the powerplay after Giroux drew a high sticking double minor.
Though the chances were not lopsided, the Rangers seemed to have the better of the opportunities, even including two Flyers breakaways. Carter Hart was called on, making the more difficult saves than his Rangers counterpart. The Rangers would create plays that would force Hart to come across the crease to face an uncovered shooter, and the goalie came up big over the last 15 minutes of play.
Overtime looked like it would be disaster for the Flyers as the Rangers possessed the puck, with the Flyers first shift of Farabee, Provorov and Couturier on ice for almost two minutes. The Flyers would follow that with another extend shift where Voracek, after being on the ice for nearly two minutes without rest, would end the game with a super move on a breakaway.
NYR LW Brandan Lemieux CF:9 CA:1 CF%: 90.00%
Lemieux had a particularly strong game, he was very noticeable on the ice, particularly for a player that did not record a shot. Lemieux was a relentless presence on the forecheck, and constantly forcing the Flyers into bad decisions when he was on the ice. The Flyers should be ready for him next game.
PHI RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel CF:2 CA:10 CF%:16.67%
NAK had a rough night on the ice, and seemed unable to get comfortable with his skates or the puck. In one particularly bad sequence where the Flyers had been pinned in their zone, NAK had gained control of the puck and started out of defensive zone. As he approached the red line, the puck skipped over his stick to a waiting Ranger, who NAK immediately tripped. That was how things went for the entire evening.
CF:30 CA:40 CF%: 42.86% ZENO:3
The Flyers care much more about the points in the standings than the corsi metric, and on this night, they got what they wanted. The Rangers got more chances, and better quality chances, but the Flyers were still able to grab the victory. Even with a rather low .833 save percentage, Hart, with heroics from Jake Voracek, were the primary reasons for the Flyers’ victory.
The Flyers defensive zone coverage is simply awful, and I don’t think it can be pinned exclusive on the defensemen. Far too often there is an uncovered forward, near the slot, who is ready to bury a one timer past Hart. I have not been able to figure the root cause, but opponents have spotted the weakness and are using it against the Flyers’ goalies.