NY Rangers pummel Philadelphia Flyers as Hayes sits

Philadelphia Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

Same old story, but different game. The Flyers hung in tough with a better team, but a terrible third period saw them unravel. The NY Rangers scored two empty net goals, including a shorthanded one, as they dropped the Flyers 6-3 in a Metropolitan Division matchup. The loss was the first of a two-game homestand.

The Flyers, who have had a lot of trouble this year, not only scoring but scoring first, got a great goal by James Van Riemsdyk to start. JVR had passed the puck to Owen Tippet who fired a shot at NY goaltender, Jaroslav Halak. the puck bounced off of him to van Riemsdyk, who was waiting on the other side of the net. Halak slid over, but JVR scooted the puck around Halak for the goal with a great spin shot. Halak would end up saving 29 of the 32 shots he faced.

The lead would not last. With four minutes left to go in the first, Artemi Panarin, left wide open, took a pass from Barclay Goodrow and pounded the puck home. Carter Hart, who was so solid against the Devils on Thursday, surrendered four goals to New York. On all of the first three goals by the Rangers, Panarin, K’Andre Miller, and Goodrow, Hart was left out to dry by his defense who left a man open or unattended.

The Flyers didn’t do enough to put away NY Rangers

Likewise, Tony DeAngelo was on the ice for five of the Rangers’ six goals. It was DeAngelo’s first game back since being benched. He also was home to attend to the funeral of his grandmother, Jo-Ann DeAngelo.

With about two minutes to go in the second period, the Flyers found themselves on the penalty kill. A potential goal by Vincent Trocheck was waived off as it just barely didn’t fully cross over the line. As play resumed, Scott Laughton intercepted a pass and went off to the races. He deked a shot and slammed it past Halak. The Flyers were now down 3-2 with the third period looming.

Jimmy Vesey would score at 6:22 in the third period to put the Blueshirts up by two. However, 90 seconds later, Morgan Frost ripped a wrister from the top of the left faceoff circle and found the back of the net. As the game wound down, however, the Flyers would pull Hart in an attempt to tie it up. That’s when Jacob Trouba and Kaapo Kakko would score their empty net goals to put it away for good.

The big storyline was Kevin Hayes being benched for this rivalry game. And while the Flyers could’ve used his scoring touch and physicality, there were some bright spots in the loss. JVR looks like he is starting to regain his scoring touch again. Frost’s goal is the sort of thing we need from him more often. Laughton was 62% in the faceoff circle with Frost adding another 58%.

Besides being down Hayes, the Flyers were also down Zack MacEwen, with an illness, and Lukas Sedlak, who went home to Prague. The Flyers host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The team will have two days to get healthy and shape up so they can defeat a last-place team that has dropped them twice this season.