The Flyers were missing an important playmaker on the ice against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden’s Thanksgiving weekend matinee. Jaromir Jagr’s injury left his line with little presence on the ice as his team lost to the Rangers, 2-0.
But even without Jagr or their captain, Chris Pronger, the Flyers were entering into a very rough match. The Rangers have been stellar on home ice, with a 5-1-1 record coming into this contest. Against the Flyers, the Rangers have won both of their last two contests, outscoring Philadelphia 10-2.
The Rangers also have a winning percentage of .909 when they score first. They’ve tallied the first goal in 11 of their 19 contests, posting a 10-1-0 record in those games.
Those are some pretty amazing stats entering into this contest.
As for the Atlantic rivalry, the teams needed very little time to turn the heat up. Zac Rinaldo and Brandon Prust dropped the gloves at the faceoff just four seconds after the puck dropped. This marked the first of three big moments for Prust that John Tortorella commented after the game, “He’s got balls bigger than this building.”
At 9:20 he continued to get under the skin of his opponent while exchanging a few words with Wayne Simmonds. Both were given a 2 minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. As they came out of the penalty box, both dropped the gloves at 11:26 to finish what they had tried to start two minutes prior. They both headed to the penalty box after what seemed an eternity in a bout that could rival one of the NHL’s longest bouts in history which took place last season between Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (New Jersey Devils) and Cam Janssen (St. Louis Blues). Prust and Simmonds both received five minutes for fighting.
The Rangers finally got a chance on the power play with 1:03 remaining in the first period, giving them a 57 second start to the second period with the man advantage. They were able to find the back of the net at the start of the second period with just thirty seconds in, but it was ruled no goal after review. Ryan Callahan tried to push it in with his glove, thus making the move an illegal play.
Rangers fans were still able to jump up from their seats when Brad Richards was able to turn a no goal on the power play into a good goal at 0:54.
At 6:32, the Flyers were awarded their first power play after Ryan McDonagh highsticked Jakub Voracek. Their extra man advantage proved fruitless before Henrik Lundqvist.
Another power play was awarded to the Rangers at 13:45 after Daniel Briere was called for cross-checking. The Rangers were unable to generate anything and ended the night going 1-2 on the power play.
In the final period, the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin scored his first career NHL goal at 5:06. This is his second career NHL game. He was recently called up on November 24th from Hartford. He tallied his first career NHL point in that first game.
“He’s won the opportunity,” Richards said of Hagelin. “You can tell he’s going to do whatever it takes to win battles and go to the net. He’s got good speed and when you have good speed you can do a lot of things.”
At 8:37 with Lundqvist catching the puck in mid-air, a brawl ensued behind his net. Even with the brawl going on behind him, Lundqvist remained focused and didn’t even bother to look behind his net.
Scott Hartnell and Brian Boyle were called for roughing in that brawl at 8:37. The Flyers were awarded a final power play at 10:38 when McDonagh was called for tripping, but they were not able to generate anything as the Rangers shutout the Flyers 2-0.
Hagelin was awarded the Broadway Hat by the team after the game, which he wore with a smile on his face.