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POSTGAME 5: Battered on Broadway

The second game of the back-to-back set at Madison Square Garden between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was no contest.

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer / philadelphiaflyers.com

The second game of the back-to-back set at Madison Square Garden between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was no contest. The Rangers brutalized Philadelphia in a 9-0 blowout. The score was 2-0 after the opening period and 9-0 after the second.

Brendan Lemieux (2nd goal of the season) and Artemi Panarin (7th) staked New York to a 2-0 lead in the first period. 

The Flyers were on the wrong end of a seven-goal savaging in the second period. Pavel Buchnevich tallied a pair of goals (9th and 10th) made it 4-0 early in the second period before Jacob Trouba (1st) further extended the lead ahead of a Mika Zibanejad shorthanded breakaway goal (4th). This was followed by a power play goal by Zibanejad (5th) and then an even strength Zibanejad goal (6th) on an odd-man rush to complete a natural hat trick. Yet another odd-man rush -- this one with no Flyers forwards arriving in the defensive zone at any point -- resulted in a Filip Chytil (4th) slam dunk as the score became 9-0. The third period was uneventful with the game out of hand.

Brian Elliott lasted 27:30, giving up five goals on 13 shots. Carter Hart went the rest of the way. He stopped 12 of 16 shots.

Alexandar Georgiev notched the shutout win for New York. His toughest saves were mainly in the first period. He denied all 24 shots he faced.

Apart from the changes in goal, both teams' starting lineups had different looks than on Monday. For the Flyers, forwards Andy Andreoff and Connor Bunnaman started while Oskar Lindblom and Nicolas Aube-Kubel were scratched. Defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Robert Hägg returned to the lineup while Shayne Gostisbehere and Nate Prosser were removed.

For New York, defenseman Adam Fox and forward Pavel Buchnevich exited COVID-19 protocol and returned to the lineup. The Rangers were without head coach David Quinn and his entire assistant coaching staff for COVID-19 protocol reasons. Former Flyers assistant coaches Kris Knoblauch and Gord Murphy, now the head coach and associate head coach on the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack, substituted behind the Rangers' bench along with Rangers' assistant GM Chris Drury.

TURNING POINT

 Minutes seven to 40 of the game were a catastrophe for the Flyers. They gave their goaltenders zero chance to make saves. 

MELTZER'S TAKE

1) On Brendan Lemieux's back-door goal at 7:05, the Flyers' entire fourth line and second D pair had issues. Nolan Patrick lost a battle on the wall. Andy Andreoff was beaten by Adam Fox, the defense pair of Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers failed to lock down the slot (with Sanheim arriving a half-step late), Lemeiux beat Connor Bunnaman to the net and Fox made a good pass to the goal scorer. Brett Howden got the secondary assist. 

The Flyers had five of the game's first seven shots despite New York getting the game's first two power play but New York had the lone goal. The Flyers did have one flurry around the New York net with James van Riemsdyk narrowly missing a goal.

2) On New York's second goal, Couturier won a defensive left circle faceoff cleanly back to Travis Sanheim. Without a clear-cut play to make on his side, Sanheim went around the wall with the puck but a flat-footed Joel Farabee was descended upon and couldn't get the puck out. Attempting to provide puck support, Myers got caught in no man's land. Ryan Strome fed over to Panarin, who scored from the bottom of the left circle at 14:47. The Flyers had a 3-on-0 opportunity off a Rangers turnover but were unable to convert it as a Kevin Hayes shot from the right shot hit the outside of the net.

3) The Flyers had seemingly dodged a bullet on a Ryan Lindgren scoring chance but the reprieve didn't last long. Lost battles by Sanheim and Myers led up to Buchnevich converting a Mika Zibanejad setup for a 3-0 lead at 1:38. Exactly two minutes later, after the Flyers once again failed to get a puck out of the defensive zone, a Buchnevich shot deflected off Myers' skate into the Philadelphia net.

4) After Georgiev made an excellent skate save on Nolan Patrick off a Farabee setup, Trouba scored through traffic at the other end to make it a 5-0 game at 7:30, assisted by Zibanejad. The goal ended Elliott's night and the defense pair of Sanheim and Myers dropped to minus-five on the night. 

5) The first chance relief goaltender Hart saw was a shorthanded breakaway by Zibanejad off a mishandle at the point by Ivan Provorov. Zibanejad cut to his right and slid the puck inside the post at 8:27. A run of 11 successful Flyers penalty kills on 12 opportunities came to a crashing halt as the Rangers scored an all-too-easy power play goal. Panarin gained entry in the attack zone and with the Flyers' merely puck watching, Zibanejad had free reign to attack the net and score. At 5-on-5, Zibanejad completed a natural hat trick on a 2-on1 rush. Kreider's pass went off the skate of a sliding Myers and directly to Zibanejad. Buchnevich picked up his fourth point of the period. A 2-on-2 became a 3-on-1 with no forwards getting back on the Chytil goal.
 

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