On Sunday afternoon the New York Rangers played the Philadelphia Flyers in game two of their opening round playoff series. The Rangers were looking to grab a 2-0 series lead before traveling to Philadelphia. They failed to complete this task and lost the game 4-2 to tie the series tied at one game a piece. We know that the Rangers lost, but we have to figure out why; I’ve got that right here.
Ray Emery stood on his head in game two. He faced 33 shots, three less than in game one, and he stopped 31 of them. He recovered from his game one performance where he allowed four goals. After the first 10 minutes of game two, when the Rangers scored two goals, Emery really settled in and he completely shut down the Rangers. There should be some concern in the Rangers’ dressing room heading into game three. Today the Flyers announced Emery will start game three as Steve Mason remains out with an upper body injury.
Sat Back and Watched:
At 8:22 in the first period, Benoit Pouliot scored the Rangers’ second goal of the game. He received a pass from Derick Brassard to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead and fill Madison Square Garden with life. After that goal the Rangers gave up on the game. They sat back and let the Flyers take complete control of the ice. The Flyers’ offense went to work, and the Rangers’ generally stellar defense, allowed it to happen. The Rangers’ offense had the threat potential of a small kitten on Sunday; the Flyers defense had no trouble handling that. Not to discredit Emery, because his play was stellar, but the Rangers did not challenge him the way they did in game one. The Rangers had very few strong scoring chances; the best one of the day came from Mats Zuccarello. Aside from that, the Rangers didn’t force Emery to really move from left to right and vise versa; his biggest weakness.
Didn’t Play Rangers Hockey:
When the Rangers didn’t play the way they wanted to in the second period of the game, they got frustrated. Instead of settling down and adjusting their strategy, the Rangers started playing lazy and undisciplined hockey. The Rangers were one of the league’s most disciplined teams all season long, but they took six penalties on Sunday. Four of those penalties came in the second period. If they want to do better next game, and have a chance at winning the series, they have go back to playing New York Rangers’ hockey. They have to play whistle to whistle and leave the extra curricular stuff to the Flyers; that is what set the tone in game one.
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