New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-10)
|Date & Time||Friday April 25, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Philadelphia Flyers -115 / New York Rangers -105 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
It wasn’t the prettiest win for the New York Rangers in Game 3, but in the end it added up to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers and a 2-1 series victory heading into Game 4 on Friday night.
As is always the case for a hockey club playing on the road, the goal is always to just survive the first 10 minutes and let things settle in. New York was able to survive it and then some. The Rangers exploited the Flyers early in the first period and a cross ice feed from Rick Nash was unable to be controlled by Philadelphia’s Ray Emery. The puck deflected right to Derek Stepan at the side of the net who tapped it home for an early 1-0 lead. Just a few minutes later it was New York’s top line on the ice once again when Nash used a strong move around the net and got the puck back to the point. Dan Girardi fired and with Martin St. Louis heading to the front he found his stick beautifully, setting up a deflection past Emery and a 2-0 lead for the visitors. That’s about as good a way as a road team can hope to play their first 10 minutes and it set the tone for the rest of the night.
Philadelphia really wasn’t able to get anything going in the period until the final few minutes. There was a surge late at the end of the first period that resulted in the Flyers only goal, but there wasn’t enough sustained energy from this club. Mark Streit buried a one timer that got Philadelphia on the board and over the final few minutes of the frame the Flyers really came hard. The end of the period came at the wrong time because the Flyers still trailed 2-1 and the Rangers were able to regroup. Emery then allowed a point shot from Girardi to beat him early in the second period and Philadelphia was never able to get back in it. Dan Carcillo’s goal in the third period sealed things but the Flyers were having a hard time all night just getting pucks through to Henrik Lundqvist. New York was able to keep most of Philadelphia’s offense to the outside all night long. The Flyers controlled the puck for the final two periods, but New York’s defense really shut off all high quality scoring opportunities.
These two teams are evenly matched and on Tuesday night New York was able to get a cheap goal early on Emery and then find the back of the net again and really settle in. Things won’t be so easy this time around with Steve Mason returning to the crease, so look for New York to try and cause some havoc in front of the net and make a little contact. This might not be an elimination game for the Flyers but if they lose on Friday night it’s hard to see them taking three straight against a Rangers team that really has their number. I don't see Mason giving up a weak one early like Emery did and this one might take a little longer to really get going. This should be a tight one from start to finish.