Flyers Beat Rangers Skeleton Crew 4-2
The Flyers dealt the Rangers their second loss of the preseason Tuesday night by scoring three unanswered goals and then holding off the Rangers.
The Rangers iced a lineup that included four roster regulars (John Moore, Dominic Moore, Carl Hagelin, and Kevin Klein) the rest of the team was composed of players trying to crack the Rangers opening night roster.
The Flyers deployed a roster that will be nearly identical to their opening night lineup. The only major Flyer not in the lineup was Steve Mason (replaced by Ray Emery).
The Rangers seemed to pick up where they left off on Monday when Carl Hagelin scored on a shorthanded breakaway with the game not even five minutes old.
From there the Rangers struggled to generate offense and Cam Talbot made a few key saves. The Flyers finally broke through at 13:46 of the first when Sean Couturier whipped a wrist shot past Cam Talbot to tie the game at one.
A little over seven minutes into the second period the Rangers found themselves chasing the Flyers around the zone. Finally the puck came to Nicklas Grossmann who lined up a slap shot and powered it through traffic and past Cam Talbot to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Just a few minutes later, Rangers nemesis Wayne Simmonds got free in front of the net and deflected a Matt Read wrist shot past Talbot to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
The Rangers would respond just 36 seconds into the third period when Dominic Moore whipped a pass through the net mouth that landed on Anthony Duclair’s stick. Duclair deposited the puck to cut the Flyers lead to one.
The Rangers had a few power plays in the 3rd including a brief 5 on 3 but couldn’t cash in. They surrendered an empty net goal to Matt Read. Alain Vigneault spoke in the post game of the Rangers effort “I thought for the most part our guys did fairly well. There were some moments there where we spend a little bit more time in our end than I think everyone would have liked to.”
The Rangers next game is Friday night against Chicago.
It seemed like the Rangers were looking to see if anyone would rise to the top without much support from veteran players. In prior games Nash and St.Louis were able to open up space for the Rangers younger players.
The Battle For The 7th Defensemen Continues:
Mike Kostka was better than he was in New Jersey, but was still not impressive.
Matt Bodie really struggled, he had chances on the power play, and throughout the game, but just kept shooting himself in the foot and turning the puck over.
Connor Allen was just ok, his best moments were when he was bothering Wayne Simmonds.
Matt Hunwick seems to be the leading candidate for the job. He was on the power play, on the penalty kill and most importantly was making some good plays. He wasn’t amazing, but he is a gifted skater. He is the perfect “hold the fort defender” at this point in time.
Kevin Hayes was really good he made a few great plays and was robbed by Nicklas Grossman on the goal line.
Ryan Haggerty was ok, but he was much better on Monday.
Ryan Bourque and Oscar Lindberg need some work they are still a bit weak on their skates.
Danny Kristo didn’t look good. He had chances and came up empty, he just looks too passive.
Anthony Duclair has been great all around. The debate is currently, do we send him to Juniors? or do we keep him and forfeit the ability to send him down after 9 regular season games. Alain Vigneault spoke about Duclair’s play after the game “So far his play has definitely caught everyone in our organizations attention.”
Personally I think you keep him, his game has advanced and him playing against the best competition possible is what will make him better. He isn’t overwhelmed and last night against an NHL roster with little help, was able to generate a few chances.
Coach Vigneault said after the game that the team would trim the roster down “Come tomorrow we’ll have six healthy lines, and anywhere between nine or ten defensemen, and two goaltenders.”
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Below are the Rangers goals and box score.