Apr 27, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) celebrates his goal with New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) and New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) in the 1st period of game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Why the New York Rangers Won Game Five


Good evening ladies and gentlemen, how did you feel about game five today? Earlier, the New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 at Madison Square Garden for a game five victory and a 3-2 series lead going into game six in Philly. We know that the Rangers won but the most important thing is that we look at why they won.

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Offense All Around: 

The Rangers scored four goals today, the goal scorers were Marc Staal, Brad Richards, Dominic Moore, and Brian Boyle. A defenseman, a second line centerman, and two fourth liners. The good news about this is that offense was coming from different parts of the line-up which is crucial for a team that’s serious about making a deep run into the post-season. It is much harder to defend a team that has a balanced line-up than a team that only has one line that can produce, this was very evident in today’s game.

Penalty Kill:

The Rangers went 4/5 on the penalty kill today which is one of the key components of playoffs. Having good special teams just makes it easier for every team and the Rangers showed that their penalty kill will not be taken lightly. It’s a problem that the team took five penalties, and it cost them on the last penalty of the game when Claude Giroux scored the Flyers second goal with less than two minutes remaining. That being said, the Rangers have been good on the penalty kill all season and all series so letting one or two goals slip by now and then isn’t horrible.

Leadership:

In my opinion there are three main leaders on the Rangers, Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and Henrik Lundqvist. The three of them have stood out all series, but especially in this game more than the others. On the first Flyers goal, the shot deflected off Kevin Klein‘s stick and into the net, Lundqvist went over to Klein after the goal and had a few words with him about the play. Richards and St. Louis are two of the teams Stanley Cup Champions and are perhaps the two who can lead the Rangers deep into the post season. Richards and St. Louis show the leadership every single game and today’s game was no different, which is what helped them beat the Flyers.

There you have it Rangers fans, here’s why New York took a 3-2 series lead over Philadelphia today. If they want to close out the series on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center they’ll need to keep these three things going.

Tags: Brad Richards Flyers Henrik Lundqvist Martin St. Louis New York Rangers Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • Pivot

    Hey Kenny I like to point out the fact that the last penalty the Rangers took was Anton Strahlmans’ interference call at 18:16 of the 2nd period. In fact that was the last penalty called in the game for both teams. Unfortunately it was the one that Philly scored on off Kleins’ leg.
    The goal Giroux scored was with the goalie pulled for a 6th skater. Not a PP tho the Rangers played like it was and that’s why the goal was scored. It deflected off someone on the way in passed a screened Lundqvist. Not his fault the Rangers were too passive in the defensive zone. Although with a 2 goal lead maybe that was the plan laid out to kill as much time as possible in exchange for a late meaningless goal. If that was the plan I don’t like it. Not because the Flyers scored but because Giroux scored. The Rangers did a good job keeping him off the scoresheet to that point. Now he may play looser in game 6 and hurt the Rangers.
    The reason the Rangers won was because the Flyers Defense is not very good defensively. Luke Schenn is ok because he’s so big and Physical but the Flyers have mostly mobile offensive puck moving defenseman. Having Hal Gill replace Grossman (their top shot blocker) hurt pretty badly for them too. Dom Moores’ goal was partially his fault but it was a bad pass from Coburn that went right off his skate. Coburn has most of the blame for that goal.
    The PK didn’t win the game since the Rangers (Namely Hagelin & The stupid interference by Strahlman) took 4 too many penalties. 1 by Hagelin may have prevented a scoring chance but the PK did it’s job.
    The reason the Rangers won this game is that they’re a fast puck possession team. Philly likes to play a slightly slower paced dump n chase game. They send 2 in on the forecheck and if the 3rd forward sees a turnover he jumps into the play. The Rangers use this to create odd man rushes. When the 3rd forward gets caught behind the puck going the other way. It usually means an odd man rush is comin. The Rangers forced the Flyers to play their game. Which the Rangers are better suited for. When the Rangers are able to do this to the Flyers. They’ll usually win by driving puck possession. When they can’t and the Flyers impose their size on the Rangers by forcing turnovers in deep in the Rangers zone.
    The key for the Rangers to win game 6 at Wells Fargo Center is the neutral zone. Early on the Rangers offensive zone entries were pretty easy. The Flyers have since made changes to their coverage and backed up to a more conservitive forecheck. They have skaters standing and waiting at the Blue Line. AV needs to find a breakout that can beat this. The Rangers won today because they got around it enough times to beat Philly. It’s a gamble they’d be able to do it again Tuesday in Philly. The Rangers lost the Possession battle and still won. They need to change that to win game 6.