Well here we are in the aftermath of game one between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Rangers came away with a 4-1 victory. So how did they do it? What were the biggest factors in the Rangers victory over the Flyers last night, find out right here.
There’s been so much speculation since the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs is Brad Richards was going to get bought out by the Rangers, and after being sat for games four and five last post season against the Boston Bruins Richards just wanted to rebound this year. Richards is one of the team’s greatest leaders, and before the game he and close friend and teammate Martin St. Louis were sharing their experiences of their 2004 Stanley Cup and what the Rangers have to do to get to that level. Going into the third period the game was tied 1-1, and when the Rangers got their four-minute power play opportunity Richards made no mistake and took over, scoring the eventual game winner in the first two minutes, and getting the primary assist on the second goal of the power play. However that wasn’t it, Richards was all over the place last night and assisted on the fourth and final Rangers goal which was scored by Carl Hagelin.
Speaking of the power play, at the end of the regular season the Flyers had taken the second most penalties in the league behind only the Ottawa Senators and are overall a very undisciplined team. The Rangers power play at its lowest point of the season was ranked 15th in the league which was recently as the season was ending, at its height the power play was ranked sixth in the league. Knowing that, and knowing that the Flyers would take penalties makes the power play a crucial part to last night’s game and to the series overall. Getting a four-minute power play last night, Richards and the Rangers did not disappoint, scoring twice on the opportunity and catapulting the Rangers to a two goal lead and essentially securing the game for the Blue Shirts.
Calm, Cool and Collected:
Maybe this is a testament to their coaching staff, or the way they’ve played all season but the Rangers remained calm cool and collected all game long despite all the Flyers attempts at knocking off their game, instead of retaliation against their rivals they just stuck to the game plan and executed perfectly. The Flyers game plan was mainly to focus on Ryan McDonagh, and in the beginning it worked and hesitation by McDonagh led to the lone Flyers goal. However McDonagh and the team responded by not responding, McDonagh didn’t retaliate and the team went on their way which ultimately led to the Flyers 9th straight loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.