The New York Rangers (47-26-6) defeated the Philadelphia Flyers (38-33-8) by the score of 4-3. For a box score, click here.
1st Star – A Victory at MSG!!!!! (Hallelujah!)
2nd Star – Clinching at least the 1st Wild Card!!!!! (Bring on the Canadiens!)
3rd Star – Officially Eliminating the Flyers from Playoff Contention!!!! (Icing on the cake!)
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
After that dominating performance from Zuccarello, I’ve got to go with the Norwegian Iceberg.
Gif of the Game
Not much work tonight for Lundqvist, but this beauty with 15.2 remaining literally saved the game for the Rangers.
Zucca Zucca Burnin’ Love
Is it me or has Zuccarello been involved in every Rangers goal this season? If he’s not scoring he’s either setting up a teammate, digging the puck out of the corner or causing an offensive zone turnover. So fun to watch.
Just look at his eyes on the Smith goal as he waits for the Flyers defenseman to move his stick out of the passing lane and puts the puck on Smith immediately.
BTW, who knew Smith had moves like that?
Bring the Noise
Whenever the Rangers play the Flyers it’s usually a physical affair, which is why I had no issues with Tanner Glass being in the line-up and it paid off as the Blueshirts took the body while the Flyers seemed disinterested at times despite the fact that they were playing for their postseason lives.
Glass set the tone early with this hit that was embarrassingly called a charge. Not only is Manning turning, Glass gets him on the side. Making this call even worse was the refs missing at least two much more egregious hits from behind on the Rangers later in the game. Awful.
Zuccarello was more than just a playmaker tonight..
A great forecheck by Kreider ends with a Lindberg goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead…
And finally this hit by Girardi on our old friend Del Zotto, who had a typically awful giveaway that lead directly to Lindberg’s goal.
Holy crap that got nerve-racking at the end. The Rangers were literally trying to give the game away in the final minutes as they had two unforgivable icings along with Stepan’s turnover in the Rangers zone after inexplicably touching the puck despite a delayed Flyers hand pass. I was fully prepared for overtime after the phantom Smith penalty. But kudos to the penalty kill and Lundqvist.
Damn the Rangers defense was awful on the Flyers first goal…
As I mentioned above, I fully understood AV inserting Glass into the line-up. But for the life of me, I cannot figure out why AV isn’t getting Buchnevich some experience in meaningless games to end the season. Sure, he wasn’t good against the Penguins, but isn’t that exactly why he should be out there with virtually nothing on the line vs. the Flyers? I try not to beatup on AV too much, but this is puzzling at best.
With the Rangers down 1-0 and the Garden crowd beginning to anticipate a ninth straight loss at home, the rejuvenated power play continued to pick up the Blueshirts by getting them on the board and on their way to victory.
Watchout, as Zibanejad is finally finding his game after coming back from the leg injury as he now has 10 points (5g, 5a) in his last 14 games.
Good things happen when you go to the net, right Kreids?
With literally nothing left to play for, it’s time to get some of the big guys some rest. Nash, Zuccarello, Stepan, Hayes, Kreider, Miller, Grabner and Hayes should all get a game off in the final three. Sure, momentum going into the postseason is nice, but so is health.