New York Rangers clutch third period takes down Flyers 3-2
The New York Rangers capped their longest road trip of the season with a gut-check third period against the Flyers. Two goals in the span of 2:42 by Filip Chytil and Chris Kreider overcame a 2-1 deficit to propel the team to victory.
It was a nice welcome back for head coach Gerard Gallant, who returned from COVID protocol earlier in the day. New York finished the road trip with a 3-2 record.
Recap: Rangers 3 vs Flyers 2
The first period started with the Rangers getting plenty of zone time and offensive chances. It led to an eventual power play for the visitors as Claude Giroux went off for hooking.
Artemi Panarin played a puck at the blue line over to Adam Fox. The freshly named All-Star quickly sent it to the left circle where Mika Zibanejad rocketed a one-timer by Carter Hart at the 5:54 mark.
Zibanejad has terrorized the Flyers in recent games. They held him to one assist in the their first meeting on December 1. However, he scored 7 goals and 9 assists in their last 5 meetings of the 2020-21 season.
The Flyers spent a lot of time on their heels in the period, but a turnover in the neutral zone led to a 3 on 2 rush. Oskar Lindblom driving to the net found a rebound to even things up at 1-1 with 9:15 remaining.
Soon afterwards, Filip Chytil was streaking down the wing and almost broke the tie. His backhand shot hit the post and then the back of Hart. As the puck was heading over the line, former Ranger Keith Yandle swooped in to save the day and keep it tied heading into the second period.
“This game has a lot of pace to it,” Braden Schneider said sporting a cut from a puck to the face. “I’m feeling more confident and we just got to keep going.”
Carter Hart keeps the Flyers in it
The New York Rangers played a strong middle frame, but were thwarted by Hart again and again. Igor Shesterkin answered when called upon, but the Flyers did not register another shot for the final eleven minutes of the period.
Philly was outshot 12-7 in the second, and managed just two shots on their only power play of the game.
“We take a lot of pride in that,” Kevin Rooney said of the Rangers PK. “The biggest thing with us is communication and knowing when to pressure. Credit to (Gord Murphy) for running a great PK.”
Rangers come up clutch in the third period
In the third period, a struggling Flyers team that has lost six in a row came hard at the Blueshirts. At the 10:11 mark, Cam York’s shot from the point eluded everyone to give the Flyers their first lead of the game.
As is the case with fragile teams, it took just 37 seconds for the Rangers to tie the game. The second line worked some magic down low with Ryan Strome finding Panarin cross crease. Chytil, who missed a goal earlier made no mistake putting home the Breadman’s feed.
“He’s played well,” Gallant said of Chytil. “It doesn’t matter for me if he’s on the wing or at center. He’s played well on the wing with (Strome and Panarin)… I’m sure if you ask him tonight he’s happy to be where he’s at.”
It didn’t take long for the Rangers to assert themselves again. Kaapo Kakko made a pass from behind the net back to Fox at the point. The wiz-kid from the blue-line took a purposeful low shot for a deflection. And who else but Chris Kreider with his dominant net-front presence tipped it for a 3-2 lead.
Shesterkin held the fort the rest of the way stopping 14 of 15 in the third period and 26 total.
New York is once again in sole possession of first place as they now have 25 wins on the season and 54 points.
- Igor Shesterkin shutout streak ended at 138:42
- Mika Zibanejad’s first period goal was his 150th with the Rangers
- Chris Kreider’s 24 goals is tied for third in the NHL
- Artemi Panarin’s two points were his first points since returning from COVID list
- Filip Chytil has a four-game point streak (1G – 3A)
- Ryan Reaves is now 10th all-time in hits with 2461
Tomorrow (Sunday, Jan. 16): Day Off
Next Game: Wednesday, Jan. 19 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 PM ET – TV: TNT)
*Schedule subject to change
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