Who wins the first round playoff matchup between Rangers and Flyers?

Rangers Sweep

Flyers Sweep

Rangers in 5, 6, or 7

Flyers in 5, 6, or 7

Game Two: New York Must Find A Way To Score

Will we see Sean Avery in Game Two?

Will we see Sean Avery in Game Two?

It’s not accurate to call tomorrow night’s game a must win, but everyone knows that the Rangers don’t want to fall into a 2-0 hole against the more talented Washington Capitals.

The first playoff experience for eight Rangers was a spirited affair, and the boys came very close to stealing an improbable victory in Game One.  Unfortunately, a controversial call swung momentum towards Washington and Alex Semin gave the young Rangers their first taste of playoff disappointment deep into the first overtime. 

New York must build on the positives from last night’s game.  The host of playoff newbies now know what to expect from Game Two, and they didn’t look overmatched as the first tilt wore on.  The Rangers did a decent job, for the most part, of keeping Washington to the outside and denying chances in close, and Henrik Lundqvist was on top of his game as New York requires.  If the Rangers can settle down a bit and get more pucks to the net, they have to think they can beat Washington. 

The flipside, and the part that no one wants to think about, is that Washington looked like it had figured out the playoffs last night.  The Capitals still pack enough offensive punch to outscore and outlast most NHL teams on most nights, but last night they showed that their commitment to defensive responsibility is very real.  The Rangers lack the talent to make life too difficult for the Capitals, but Washington did a tremendous job clogging passing lanes, keeping the Rangers away from the middle of the ice, and clearing their zone quickly.  If Washington is able to keep that formula up, the Capitals will be next to impossible for the Rangers to beat. 

So the stage is set for Game Two.  Both teams should be feeling pretty well about Game One, albeit for different reasons.  The second bout in Washington should be a good gauge of whether New York will be able to make this a series, or whether the Capitals have turned the corner and are ready to cruise through the postseason.

If the Blueshirts can find a way to score a few goals and pick up a W, they’ll head back to New York with their heads held high.  If Washington again plays staunch defense and peppers Henrik Lundqvist with shots, this series could be over in short order.


Via Andrew Gross, here are the lines the Rangers used today in practice:






- I’d be very surprised if Avery was scratched again.  Mats Zuccarello barely played in Game One, and took a dumb penalty early in the game.  Avery is obviously a risk, but he has thrived in the playoffs before and could have the speed and grit to swing things the Rangers’ way a bit.  

Posted by Kevin Baumer | April 14, 2011 at 02:14 pm

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New York Rangers VS Philadelphia Flyers
Thursday, April 17, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 3 - 4
Flyers 1 0 0 - 1

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