One thing is assured following today’s 2-0 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Winter Classic will be a very good game.
If fans couldn’t tell from the Sept. 26 preseason tilt at the Wells Fargo Center, fans everywhere could come to that conclusion just four seconds into the game today.
Zac Rinaldo and Rangers enforcer Brandon Prust dropped the gloves right off the opening faceoff, and this wasn’t just some clutching and grabbing scrap. It was a "let-em fly" punch-throwing tilt that let you know that Jan. 2 will be a similar, if not more, heated affair.
The remaining 59 minute and 56 seconds of the game hardly saw a whistle blow where there wasn’t a scrum between the two squads whether it was in the corner, center ice or in the goaltender’s crease.
“Guys answered the bell. It was great to watch. I think we didn’t back down from anywhere out there,” said Scott Hartnell.
If the first bout didn’t get things going then the second definitely did.
Rangers’ Brandon Prust squared off with Wayne Simmonds this time in an epic bout that lasted over a minute long.
As far as the actual game, the Flyers were riding the hot hand of Sergei Bobrovsky in net, who stopped 30 of 32 shots, but they will be looking for a different result in the NHL’s annual outdoor game.
The teams will face off against each other one more time before taking it outdoors, that game will take place at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 23
- The Flyers were shut out for the first time this season. The last shutout against was March 21 at Atlanta, when Chris Mason made 43 saves.
- This is the second consecutive time the Flyers have been shut out at Madison Square Garden. They lost 7-0 in their last visit there on March 6, 2011. Henrik Lundqvist also recorded that shutout.
- The Flyers out-hit the Rangers 34-22. The 34 hits are the team’s highest single-game total of the season. Sixteen of the 18 skaters dressed today registered at least one hit.
- The Flyers committed just five giveaways on the game, which ties for the lowest number this season.
- Braydon Coburn played 28:03, just the second time in the last two-plus seasons he’s played more than 28 minutes in a game. He played 28 or more minutes eight times during the 2008-09 season.
“They clogged the middle, but when they do that you need to adjust your game; put it in the corner, go and get it and keep your game simple.” - Max Talbot
“It’s tough. It can go either way; especially in Madison Square Garden, but we’re going to keep going, stay positive and good things will happen to us.” - Zac Rinaldo
The turning point in today’s loss to the Rangers wasn’t the first goal, which came seconds after the Rangers had a goal disallowed. It was the second goal of the evening which gave the New York a comfortable lead.
The second goal was also a big momentum changer in the game. The Flyers were coming off a 2-on-1 rush with Wayne Simmonds and Danny Briere in which they did not capitalize.
The very next rush came from the Rangers and resulted in Carl Hagelin firing the puck past Bobrovsky for the two-goal lead. The goal was also the rookie Hagelin’s first NHL tally.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Four seconds into the game Zac Rinaldo drops the gloves with Rangers' Brandon Prust.
Rangers 2, Flyers 0 Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots, Carl Hagelin scored his first NHL goal and the New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 on Saturday to improve on their best home start in nearly 20 years.
After a scoreless first period that featured a fight 4 seconds into the game between New York's Brandon Prust and Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, Brad Richards scored a power-play goal 54 seconds into the second.