Philly Sports Live

Flyers Finally Beat the Rangers

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Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Rangers for the first time in nearly two years.  The last time the Orange and Black won over the Blue Shirts was February 20, 2011. For the Flyers and their fans, it has been a painful streak of losses, eight in a row if you were counting. The one that sticks out the most is the home loss in the Winter Classic last season. It was a game the Flyers led 2-0 but couldn’t hold on to as New York scored three unanswered goals to win 3-2. There were so many games where one thought the Flyers would finally get past their I-95 rivals, but the Rangers always found a way to prevail. The two clubs rivalry gained a lot more attention through out North America during last season’s HBO Sport’s series 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic. The show gave the fans at home a view into  the lives of bot the players and staff.

Many predicted that the Flyers and Rangers would meet in Eastern Conference Finals, but that never happened as the Flyers were dropped in the second round of the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers did however make the Eastern Conference Finals, but were upset by a hot Devils team led by the ageless Marty Brodeur.

With the 2-1 win over the Rangers, the rivalry has taken a new step forward and Flyers’ fans can now hold their heads a little higher. The game saw the Flyers’ click in several ways. Philadelphia’s power-play finally looked like a well oiled machine with not so much rust on it. The players seemed to communicate and all be on the same page for once.

The most impressive part of the night was the Flyers’ penalty-kill; they stopped the Rangers with a 5 on 3 power-play late in the 3rd period. New York threw everything at Philadelphia’s net-minder Ilya Bryzgalov and he stood his ground. The Flyes’ penalty-kill was aggressive and took risks that ended up paying off. The short-handed Flyers’ seemed to ride the emotion from the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. As the Rangers’ power-play ticked away, the noise just kept getting louder. It clearly was the most excited the fans had been since clubs last win, which was over the Devils on April 29, 2012 in round two of the NHL playoffs.

Have the Flyers fixed their problems?  For the time being, they have. The team needed a lift  since during the pre-game it was announced that Flyers’ left-winger Scott Hartnell would be out anywhere from four to eight weeks with a broken first metatarsal. The club also has been without the service of center Danny Briere due to a wrist injury, but he is hoping to return as early as this Saturday when Philadelphia travels to Florida to take on the Panthers.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced Thursday that forward Mike Knuble will come to Philadelphia Friday to sign a contract. Last season, Knuble had six goals and 18 points in 72 games with the Washington Capitals.  He tried out for the Detroit Red Wings but was cut. Most recently he was playing in the AHL for Grand Rapids.

Game Notes:

What would a Flyers/Rangers game be without a fight?  Not even three minutes into the game, gloves were on the ice and fists were flying. The first round went to Rangers as Stu Bickel took down Tom Sestito for a nasty check on the Rangers’ Jeff Halpern. The 2nd period, the Flyers evened the score when Tye McGinn threw several punches that landed directly on the back of the neck of Kris Newbury. Closing out the fighting, McGinn was holding up Newbury by his jersey just so he could deliver one final haymaker before they hit the sin bin.

On hand during the game was Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday with his fiancé, USWNT player Lauren Cheney. It was announced during the game that Holiday had been selected to the NBA All-Star game in Houston. Cheney is a two-time gold medalist for the U.S. Woman’s National Team (soccer) and currently with FC Kansas City in the NWSL. The two met while attending UCLA.

Three star selections
1st: WAYNE SIMMONDS
2nd: ILYA BRYZGALOV
3rd: HENRIK LUNDQVIST
Winning Goaltender
Ilya Bryzgalov
Losing Goaltender
Henrik Lundqvist

 

Scoring Summary

1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
11:53 PHI W. Simmonds (1) Tip-In – ASST: N. Grossmann (1) AND M. Read (1) 1 – 0 PHI
15:54 PHI PPG – J. Voracek (1) Wrist – ASST: S. Couturier (1) AND W. Simmonds (2) 2 – 0 PHI
3rd Period
01:39 NYR PPG – T. Pyatt (3) Wrist – ASST: M. Gaborik (1) 2 – 1 PHI

 

Shots
PERIOD NYR PHI
1st 5 11
2nd 8 17
3rd 6 5
Total 19 33

 

photo via ctpost.com

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