Flyers can’t string together two in a row, fall to Rangers

Rangers Celly at Flyers
New York Rangers’ Jacob Trouba (8) celebrates his empty net goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Returning home to the Wells Fargo Center after a four-game road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers were unable to string together two wins in a row as they fell to the New York Rangers, 6-3.

As soon as the puck dropped, a loud “Let’s Go Rangers” chant erupted from the New York fans who made the trip down to Philadelphia for the evening. Just minutes after, James van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. A spin-o-rama pass from Owen Tippett along the boards saw the puck find van Riemsdyk who did a spin-o-rama of his own to beat Jaroslav Halak. Tippett finished the night with only one point (an assist) but displayed superb playmaking abilities throughout.

Artemi Panarin would equalize the game for the Rangers in the later stages of the first period. Barclay Goodrow dished out a pass to Panarin who was on his wing and he rifled a shot past Carter Hart. At the end of the first period, the game was tied 1-1. After being dominated by the Devils in the first period on Thursday, they responded by controlling the first 20 minutes on Saturday.

The second period is when the Rangers started to take over. K’Andre Miller beat Hart on a breakaway to give his team a 2-1 lead close to the halfway point. Miller was tripped by Sanheim, go back up on his feet quickly, and deked out Hart. Just over three minutes later, Goodrow would make it 3-1, giving the Rangers breathing room.

Toward the end of the second period, Scott Laughton scored a shorthanded breakaway goal to cut the deficit to just one. Breaking up a pass from Panarin, Laughton beat Halak five-hole to score his sixth of the year. After 40 minutes, the Rangers led 3-2.

Jimmy Vesey scored in the third period to give his side a 4-2 lead, but Morgan Frost would answer quickly to make it 4-3. In the end, the Rangers would score two empty net goals to defeat the Flyers 6-3.

Powerplay continues to struggle

The Flyers saw themselves on the power play four times during the night but failed to capitalize on each opportunity. The Rangers own the ninth-best penalty kill in the NHL, and it was detrimental against the Flyers’ 28th-ranked power play.

“You’re looking to try to get momentum off your power play whether you score or not. We struggle at times on it. We struggle with our entries. We’re just going to keep on working at it.”

John Tortorella; 12/17/2022

The Flyers were gaining momentum from their power play chances but lacked finishing. van Riemsdyk caused a turnover which led to Miller’s goal in the second period. Miller took a penalty just minutes prior, and when his team killed the penalty off, he capitalized on the mistake from van Riemsdyk.

“Yeah, that’s a tough one for sure. I could have probably made a safer play with the puck, instead of turning it over. Again, those are tough for sure.”

James van Riemsdyk; 12/17/2022

Finding positives

During a loss, it’s sometimes hard to find positives, but Tortorella always manages to find a few. On Saturday, he mentioned that the energy level from his team was present throughout the whole game and there aren’t many times when he needs to worry about it.

“There aren’t many nights that I have left the building worrying about the thing that we can control – our energy level. We’ve had probably two or three, but there aren’t many nights that I worry about that.”

John Tortorella; 12/17/2022

Despite the Flyers currently lacking high-end talent and a true game-changer, Tortorella likes the way his team handles themselves. He knows that there are things that need to be added to the team, but the team is starting to find that identity that’s been absent.

“Our bench has been a good bench as far as just staying on top of one another. As I said, I like the group. We have some deficiencies as far as skill level and things we need to add to our group, but this is our team right now and I like the way they handle themselves.”

John Tortorella; 12/17/22

Up Next

The Flyers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets for the third time this season on Tuesday in South Philadelphia. The puck drops at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)