The New York Rangers (33-25-3) lost to the Flyers (31-24-6) by the score of 4-2, today. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...not going to get too carried away with the loss as the Rangers have still won six of their last eight games, but despite how well the team has been playing for the last ten weeks, they hadn't been pushed physically the way they were today and for the most part they didn't have an answer (would acquiring the big, physical forward Stewart help?). As the playoff race heats up the games are going to get feistier and feistier, so if the Rangers can't match it they're going to find themselves on the outside looking in when the postseason begins.
...having said all that, if the Rangers could have scored on their empty net opportunities (assuming Martin St. Louis (another goal today) or Ryan Kesler bury those) or their early power play chances they probably win this game.
...got to love Dorsett taking a Hollweg-like momentum killing penalty that basically handed the Flyers the game. I do think Dorsett has a role on this team, but I'm not a fan of Vigneault changing up what's been a very successful fourth line. If it's not broke...
...Rangers down 2-0 in the first period, Carcillo gets crushed into the boards by Rinaldo and nothing. No response. No retaliation. Nothing. Couldn't have been handed a more perfect opportunity to spark the team. Very reminiscent of the lack of emotion from earlier this season.
...Kreider went to the net and he scored. Too bad no one on the team took notice.
...apparently Richards is too distracted planning his wedding as he's been a no show the two games coming out of the Olympic break. He had a golden opportunity right after the Flyers scored their first goal, but he missed the net, the puck went the other way and the Rangers were down 2-0.
...didn't think Hank had much of a chance on the first two, but he's got to squeeze that five hole on the Simmonds game winner. Maybe it was the rink size.
...Callahan didn't exactly give himself the upper hand in contract negotiations with that effort. Four goals in his last 33 games. Not exactly $7 million per year worthy.
...i'd like to give Brassard credit for his goal, but that was the epitome of Flyers goaltending. Brutal.
...not sure why AV bumped Klein up to play with Staal down one in the third. Klein brings nothing offensively. He was also outworked along the boards on the fourth goal.
...no idea why Stepan didn't get more playing in the Olympics.
...lots of games left, but Rangers had an opportunity to get five points up on the Flyers for second place, now it's down to just one and the Capitals have drawn to just two points behind with their win over the Bruins this afternoon. Strap yourselves in Rangers fans, this sprint to end the season is going to be a wild ride.
...Rangers better find their physical game between now and tomorrow night or they're going to get mauled by the Bruins.