Last night the Philadelphia Flyers were able to wrap up back to back game nights with another win, this time against the New York Rangers. The Rangers seeded 8th in the Eastern Conference, barely in the playoffs, may see their playoff dreams slowly fade away. Last night there was a lack of energy and body checking by the Rangers, this team seemed disconnected and frustrated. The Rangers have won 11 of their 12 past games against the Flyers and just a year ago they came into the Eastern Conference as the number one over all seed.
The Flyers defense jumped in the play last night and they were involved in the offense early on in the game with points scored by Brayden Schenn and Erik Gustafsson, who secured a lead for the Flyers during the first period. As the Rangers struggled to look alive going into the second period Nash fought Rosehill in the hopes that he could bring some excitement to the struggling Rangers. The Rangers finally scored in the second period but Kimmo Timonen responded, hammering the puck past the Rangers Goaltender right off of puck drop and maintained the Flyers two point lead as they ended the second period, 3-1.
A lack of effort from the Rangers and little sense of urgency during the game last night gave the Flyers opportunities early on. In the third period the Rangers were out for redemption, they had finally showed up to this hockey game and were able to score on Mason making the score 3-2 with 12 minutes left it became anyone’s game to win. Near the end of the third period the Flyers had a scare with Goaltender Mason as he looked to be injured. Backup, Bryzgalov came onto the ice to stretch but after a short rest Mason stayed on the ice shaking off what was reported to be leg cramps, which was quite a relief since he had been doing such a great job. Then the Rangers had a scare when Michael Del Zotto got hit in the mouth with a puck at close range, luckily he only suffered a chipped tooth and returned to the game. With less than a minute left in the game, with an empty net for the Rangers, Jakub Voracek took a shot and scored on the Rangers sealing the game. In the third period the Rangers out shot the Flyers 17-4 but they still were not able to tilt the ice in their favor. The Flyers won 4-2.
In his home debut Steve Mason had outstanding glove saves, amazing reaction time, stopping 38 shots last night; consistently Mason has been performing well for the Flyers. The Flyers have needed to rely on their goalie to be their MVP and they have found an MVP in Mason. It looks like it will be a battle for Bryzgalov to stay with the Flyers as Mason comes into his own in the Philadelphia net. With two goalies vying for the number one spot, the Flyers are likely to have MVPs in both Bryzgalov and Mason, whom ever Peter Laviolette puts in the net. The Flyers executives are still undecided when it comes to buying Bryzgalvos’ $5.67 million 7 season contract out.
As this roller coaster season continues for the Flyers, with five games left, the Flyers are trying to reclaim the mantra ‘the come back kids’ as they push towards the play offs. The Flyers trail the 8th seed Rangers by 5 points, it is not an impossible feat for them to achieve this season. The Flyers faceoff against the Devils on Thursday and after winning back to back games, one would hope this winning team is here to stay and can win against the Devils on Thursday.