By JAY BOEHMERSenior Hockey Insider — firstname.lastname@example.org _______
With a Flyers offense that has been hot of late – scoring five goals in each of the last three games – going up against an anemic Rangers offense that hasn’t managed more than two in a couple of weeks, this contest was shaping up to be all Flyers.
And for the first 40 minutes, that’s how it went – at least on the scoreboard.
The Flyers jumped out to an early lead with a pair of goals coming within ten seconds of the end of a power play. First, it was Jeff Carter tipping in a shot from the point. The second came as Ville Leino put home a feed from Andrej Meszaros, with the shot going in off of a Rangers defender.
The Rangers were playing with the Flyers through the first period, with goaltender Martin Biron playing well – stopping a few quality chances while only letting by a pair of deflections. Unfortunately, the Rangers were keeping up with the Flyers on the ice, but simply lacked their scoring touch.
Mike Richards and Claude Giroux teamed up on an early second period penalty kill, with Giroux stealing the puck and setting Richards up for a one timer past Biron.
After establishing a three goal lead, the Flyers slowly slid into complacency while the Rangers gradually built up more momentum, energy, and desire.
The turning point may have come in the second period, when a scuffle between Darroll Powe and Brandon Prust turned into a sort of brawl, with Jody Shelley and Matt Walker stepping in. Matt Carle even picked up the first fighting major of his career in a bout with Sean Avery – the clear victor of the scrap.
The Rangers controlled the third, holding the Flyers to a mere three shots on goal. They finally broke through on the scoreboard with back-to-back goals around the midpoint of the period.
Peter Laviolette called a timeout to settle his boys down, and get them to focus and take care of business.
Despite nearly two minutes of empty net offense for New York as time ran out, the Flyers were able to fend them off and hold on t a 3-2 win.
This was simply another case of the Flyers’ offense giving them the lead they needed and then the defense buckling down in front of a solid game by Brian Boucher.
It’s nothing special as these games start to become like clockwork for the Flyers – who continue to win.