The Rangers have scored 17 goals in their last two games against the Flyers. Carter Hart has given up nine of those goals. Brian Elliott, the lamb who will start Saturday’s matinee at the Wells Fargo Center, has surrendered eight.
The Flyers defense has made the Rangers look like the 1985 Edmonton Oilers, and Mika Zibanejad is scoring points like a basketball player. At one point, the Rangers had scored 15 consecutive goals, the first time one team had ever done that to another in the entire blessed history of the NHL.
Zibanejad had hat tricks in both games. Three assists in each, too. He and linemates Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider have 10 goals and 10 assists in TWO GAMES.
“The puck seems to go in right now,” he said. Ya think?
The Flyers are allowing goals in transition, on cross-ice passes with laser one-timers, and by allowing the Rangers to walk into the Flyers’ zone on the power play. Zibanejad on Thursday scored all three of his goals while the Rangers had a man advantage and within a 9-minute span.
“We’ve got to be harder on them. We gotta take away their time and space,” said Justin Braun, who was in the penalty box for Zibanejad’s first power-play goal the other night. “They’ve been given too much room, especially in the o-zone ... We’ll just [have to] close that gap keeping, keeping sticks on them. That’ll help us slow them down a bit.”
Put on the red light
Here are the Flyers who’ve been on the ice for Rangers goals these last two games (March 17, March 25):
9: Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim
8: Brian Elliott, Phil Myers
7: Ivan Provorov, Jake Voracek
6: Nolan Patrick
5: Joel Farabee, Claude Giroux
4: Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, James van Riemsdyk
3: Justin Braun, *Connor Bunnaman, *Erik Gustafsson, Scott Laughton
2: *Andy Andreoff, Michael Raffl
1: *Shayne Gostisbehere, *Sam Morin
0: *Nic Aube-Kubel, *Robert Hagg, Travis Konecny
*Played in just one of the two games.
When it’s happening
The situations the Rangers scored (remember, two games!):
Even strength: 11; Power play: 4; Shorthanded: 2.
Five-on-five: 11 goals; five-on-four: 4 goals; four-on-five: 2 goals.
How it’s happening
Where the goals are beating the Flyers:
Elliott’s glove side: 2. Hart’s glove side: 4.
Elliott’s stick side: 2. Hart’s stick side: 2.
Elliott’s five hole: 1.
Deflections/tips: Elliott 3, Hart 3.
The Rangers’ goal scorers:
Mika Zibanejad (6), Pavel Buchnevich (4), Filip Chytil (1), Alexis Lafreniere (1), Brendan Lemieux (1), K’Andre Miller (1), Artemi Panarin (1), Ryan Strome (1), Jacob Trouba (1).
Defenseman Sam Morin was fined $3,017.24 for slugging Brendan Lemieux with 86 seconds left on Thursday. The NHL’s department of safety cited unsportsmanlike conduct by Morin, who landed an overhand right to Lemieux’s noggin.