Mats Zuccarello scored the Rangers' first period goal to make it 1-1 at the break. After what seemed like an eternity of the Rangers possessing the puck in the Flyers' zone it finally paid off for the Rangers as after Zuccarello found the puck on a rebound that no one could control and put it past Emery.
There was no scoring in the second, which sadly may have been the Flyers best offensive period with 8 whole shots on goal.
After getting to the 7:25 minute mark in the third with the score still only 1-1 the wheels completely fell off for the Flyers. Jason Akeson, who in all honesty was playing a good game to this point, hit Carl Hagelin in the face with a high stick to earn a 4 minute penalty. Akeson wasn't doing it maliciously, it looked like a pure rookie mistake.
This penalty was the turning point for the Rangers. Brad Richards made it 2-1 after scoring off a puck that deflected off Timonen's skate on a cross-ice pass. Derek Stepan made it 3-1 only 47 seconds later. Stepan was sneakily waiting to the right of Emery and was too quick on a pass from the top of the zone, sneaking it past Emery's leg.
Either a Flyers got sloppy or the refs did from this point out. There was literally less than a minute of full 5-on-5 play afterward. The Flyers were constantly man down, thanks to the remainder of Akeson's penalty as well as penalties from Giroux, Rinaldo and Schenn.
Hagelin himself earned the final goal for New York to make it 4-1, the final score.
Akeson's penalty was a dagger, no doubt, but he can't be blamed for the loss. There was a lackluster level of play, mostly by the forwards, the entire game. For Christ's sake, the Flyers has 1 shot on goal the entire third period! 15 in the game, compared to New York's 36.
Giroux didn't have a single shot on goal tonight and will need to pick it up for Sunday as the team tends to live or die by his stick. It looked a little like he may not have been 100% health-wise either. After taking a cheap shot to the back early in the first. Hopefully I'm wrong and this is a non-issue, just one bad game.
Ray Emery kept the Flyers in this as long as he could and definitely was the most effective Flyer tonight. That being said, expect to see Mason in net on Saturday. (and probably Steve Downie in place of Akeson)
Game 2 is on Easter Sunday at noon, so you can avoid talking to your family for a bit. Let's get it!
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