Your New York Rangers win again in Philadelphia. Their point streak against the Broad Street Bullies is now at nine games, and the Blueshirts are still on fire. Sweeping Pennsylvania, the Rangers get to think about reinforcements to the lineup returning from injury soon with both Adam Fox and Filip Chytil returning to practice and skating in the recent weeks, but that is for when we get back home.
It started quickly when Blake Wheeler played a beautiful cross-crease pass to Mika Zibanejad, who would tap it home for another 5-on-5 point this season. While those have been underwhelming this season to this point, it was enough to cement the lead of the Rangers early in this one—a good start to the Black Friday matinee. Chris Kreider got the other assist on this one to start hot.
Before too long, Kreider picked up a loose puck in the slot off of an offensive zone faceoff. He was just alone with the puck in the low slot, and fired home to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. An unassisted goal to double the Blueshirts lead two minutes into the game, and it allowed the Rangers to really take control fo the game.
In the second period, Erik Gustafsson would move the puck up the ice to Zibanejad. Zibanejad got it out wide to Wheeler. Wheeler just fed it out to the front of the net, and Mika made no mistake tapping home his second goal of the game and giving Blake Wheeler a mulitpoint night. It was 3-0 Rangers, and it was starting to look like a comfortable game for Peter Laviolette’s team.
That was until Cam Atkinson got the puck back to the point for Nick Seeler. Seeler just fired at the net and Sean Couturier was able to deflect the puck past Igor Shesterkin’s blocker to make it a 3-1 game at the end of two. Suddenly, there was some life in this game and the Rangers were in a fight.
In the third, Mika and Kreider teamed up again to create a short-handed goal. Mika got it over to Kreider who went forehand to backhand, and a roof job. Unfortunately, Mika entered the zone early, meaning that the Flyers video coaching staff was able to catch it and challenge to get it to come off the board and keep the game at 3-1.
But in the end, the Rangers were able to clamp down on the rest of the game and hold the Flyers at bay. Seeing the game out was not an easy task, but the blueshirts did it. Zibanejad couldn’t quite get the hat trick he was after, but he did get into the scoring in a major way in what was easily his best game of the season. The Rangers have now won 6 of the last 7 and are 12-1-1 in the last 14.