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Blue Shirts Fall Short In Philly

The sweet revengeful victory against the Boston Bruins would prove to be a thing of the past in the 2-1 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers last night at the Wells Fargo Center. While there were glimpses of success throughout the game, the New York Rangers have much to improve upon and certainly have their work cut out.

The Blue Shirts came out swinging at the start of the first period, when Stu Bickel went after Philadelphia Flyers, Tom Sestito in response to Sestito’s hit on center, Jeff Halpern. The first period would end scoreless with the Rangers winning 13 out of the 21 face-offs, of which Brian Boyle went 5 for 5. The Flyers would come out on top, however, in the second period. While the Rangers had a few prime scoring chances early on in the second, the Flyers would gain the momentum with a snap shot, redirect goal by Wayne Simmonds at 11:53 to give Philly the 1-0 lead. Shortly after, the Flyers would come knocking again. Jakub Voracek capitalized on a rebound at 15:54, scoring Philly’s second power play goal of the season.  The Blue Shirts would enter the third period down 2 goals. However, at 1:36 Rangers newly acquired forward, Taylor Pyatt, would rise to the occasion to shorten the Flyer lead to 1. The Broadway Blue shirts would fall just short to the Broad Street Bullies giving the Flyers their first regular season win.

Blue Shirts Fall Short In Philly
Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds (17) celebrates with Ilya Bryzgalov, as Claude Giroux (28) and Luke Schenn look on after their 2-1 win over the New York Rangers Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Philadelphia.
(Matt Slocum, AP)

One positive take away for the night is the continued goal streak by the new kid on the block, LW Taylor Pyatt. The winger was acquired by the Rangers from the Phoenix Coyotes, and has been a token to any success the Rangers have had so far. Four games into the season, Pyatt has had 3 goals, one of which came tonight on the power play early in the third period. To his line mate’s credit- Marian Gaborik had a great pass to Pyatt, for a quick snap shot goal. The streak most likely won’t last, but if he keeps up this style of play he may continuously find himself on the starting line.  While it is not unusual of the Ranger’s coaching staff to mix up the lines, it should be noted that the starting line consisted of Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, and Taylor Pyatt tonight.

The Rangers are coming off a tough schedule thus far, playing the Boston Bruins twice, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers. The recent games have been a tough stretch, but this is not an excuse for a team that has been ranked a favorite amongst the Stanley Cup contenders. The Blue Shirts next match up is this Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto gave up a 3-0 lead and fell to a devastating 7-4 loss against the New York Islanders last night at home. Either the Rangers shake the rust off, and get down to business, or they may end up with their tail between their legs. The latter is uncharacteristic of this very talented New York Rangers squad, considering the Blue Shirts are a hardworking team and number 2 in the league for hits and blocked shots. But the improvements must be made and it all starts with the small things like consistently winning face-offs and capitalizing on power play opportunities. With these minor improvements, teams will certainly need to look out for these talented boys in blue.

Kris Newbury getting the brunt of Tye McGinn and the Broad Street Bullies
Kris Newbury getting the brunt of Tye McGinn and the Broad Street Bullies
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Needs Improvement: Face-offs

It all starts with doing the dirty work- winning face-offs consistently and getting on the attack instead of being on the defense. Rangers are constantly finding themselves, especially in the second period, in their own end. If the Rangers can get on the attack from the start, they may be less likely to find themselves clawing for the win in the third period. It should be noted that prior to tonight, the Rangers tallied the game’s first goal in five of the six contests last season. The Blue Shirts swept the 2011-2012 season series against the Flyers, posting a 6-0-0 record overall with a 3-0-0 mark at home and a 3-0-0 at Philadelphia. Last night’s game is the first of five match-ups against the Flyers, and the first of two over the next two weeks. It is no time to dwell in the past, as the Rangers have an important win to accomplish this Saturday against Toronto, and hopefully a revengeful two points against Philly in the near future, but it takes one game at a time.

 

Kaitlin Sullivan

Kaitlin Sullivan

Massachusetts native, and avid hockey fanatic, I grew up in a "hockey family" and began spending countless hours in frigid hockey rinks beginning at age 2. I eat, sleep, breathe, and love every aspect of the game and I have always known that hockey was my passion. Unfortunately being a 5'5" female, however, would not grant me a place in the show. The next best thing would be writing and hopefully someday becoming a rink-side NHL reporter. My past reporting experience includes work with ESPNU Campus Connection, WHDH Channel 7 Boston, and Madison Square Garden Network. I am currently a sports broadcasting major at Boston College. Twitter: @kaitEsull
Kaitlin Sullivan

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