By Jim Cerny, BlueshirtsUnited.com
Coming into Thursday's contest in Philadelphia, the Rangers had won the last eight games they had played against the Flyers dating back to March of 2011. However that streak came to a skidding halt as the Flyers defeated the Rangers 2-1 Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
Coming off their first win of the season 24 hours earlier---a 4-3 home-ice overtime triumph over the Bruins---the Rangers could not replicate most of the things that made them so successful on Wednesday. In particular the Rangers could not generate much of an offensive thrust the first two periods against a Flyers team which won for the first time in four tries on Thursday.
Trailing 2-0 early in the third period, the Rangers took advantage of their first power play of the game when Taylor Pyatt slid a neat pass from Marian Gaborik into the cage to get the visitors on the scoreboard, cutting their deficit in half. The goal was Pyatt's third in as many games, and his first on the power play this season.
The Rangers power play failed them, though, later in the third period when, still trailing by a goal the Blueshirts could not take score when Tye McGinn was assess a double minor for high sticking Michael Del Zotto and 15 seconds later Nicklas Grossman was penalized for hooking.
Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash were both stoned point-blank by Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov during the 5-on-3 power play, but the Rangers did not generate nearly enough scoring chances and Philly received a huge boost from their hugely clutch penalty kill.
If not for goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers could have been digging themselves out of a much bigger hole throughout the night. Lundqvist stopped all 11 shots he faced in the opening period as the ice was seriously tilted in their own end. And though he surrendered a pair of goals while facing 17 shots in the second period, Lundqvist also made spectacular saves on Braydon Coburn and Matt Read.
But Philly did finally break through against Lundqvist 11:53 into the second period when Grossman's slap shot deflected off a diving Brad Richards and then caromed over the goal line after bouncing off Wayne Simmonds' skate.
Four minutes later the Flyers scored just their second power play goal of the season when Jakub Voracek poked in a loose puck off a scramble in Lundqvist's crease at 15:54. The power play occurred after Kris Newbury, recalled from the Connecticut Whale earlier in the day and dressed in the place of rookie Chris Kreider, was assessed an extra two minute roughing minor after his fight with McGinn, the hulking rookie.
Lundqvist finished with 31 saves for the Rangers.
The Rangers managed only 13 shots on goal through 40 minutes of play, only one from the Gaborik-Richards-Nash line that had dominated Boston the night before. Derek Stepan had the team's best scoring chance after a steal in the offensive zone and a quick snap shot from the slot which was kiced away by Bryzgalov.