Post-game notes courtesy of the NYR; post-game quotes courtesy of the Flyers:
Flyers 2, Rangers 1.
- The Rangers were defeated by the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, tonight in Game 4 of the Metropolitan Division Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center. The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece.
- Five of the Blueshirts’ last six playoff series have been tied 2-2 after the first four games. The Rangers have won six of the last nine playoff series in which they were tied at two games apiece after Game 4, dating back to the Patrick Division Semifinals vs. New Jersey in 1992.
- The Blueshirts allowed two goals or fewer for the 25th time in their last 38 regular season and playoff road games this season, and the ninth time in their last 12 overall road games. New York has allowed 78 goals in those 38 contests (2.05 goals against per game). The Rangers have held the Flyers to two goals or less in 17 of their last 21 regular season and playoff matchups, dating back to Mar. 6, 2011.
- New York outshot Philadelphia, 38-25, in the contest. The Rangers had more shots than the Flyers in each period of the game, including a 16-6 advantage in the first period. The Blueshirts have outshot the Flyers, 130-97, in the first four games of the series, and have recorded more shots than Philadelphia in nine of the 12 periods.
- Fifteen different skaters recorded at least one shot on goal in the game, while seven skaters had at least three shots on goal. Brad Richards registered six shots on goal, while Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello were credited with five shots on goal apiece in the contest.
- The Rangers were credited with 33 hits in the contest, the second consecutive game in which the Blueshirts recorded at least 30 hits. Fourteen different skaters registered at least one hit, and five skaters had at least three.
- New York was credited with 21 blocked shots in the game, as nine different Blueshirts blocked at least one shot, while four different skaters had at least three.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the contest, and now has a 2-2 record in this year’s playoffs. Lundqvist has also posted a 1.76 GAA and a .927 SV% through the first four games of the series, while allowing two goals or fewer in three of the four contests. The Rangers goaltender started his 70th consecutive playoff game for the Rangers, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the seventh time in league history that a goaltender has started at least 70 consecutive playoff games for one team (Martin Brodeur – New Jersey, Patrick Roy – Montreal and Colorado, Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh, Ed Belfour – Dallas, Jacques Plante – Montreal). Lundqvist is six games shy of passing Mike Richter for the franchise record in all-time playoff appearances.
- Dominic Moore registered the game’s first goal, recorded three shots on goal, posted a plus-one rating, and won three of six faceoffs (50%) in the contest. Moore’s goal was his first postseason point as a Ranger. Six of Moore’s eight career NHL playoff goals have been tallied on the road.
- Brian Boyle recorded an assist, posted a plus-one rating, was credited with one hit and blocked three shots in 10:57 of ice time. Boyle has registered an assist in consecutive playoff games for the first time in his NHL career. The Rangers forward has tallied a point in four of his last six playoff contests (one goal, three assists), dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 23, 2013 vs. Boston. Boyle leads the team in hits (16) in the playoffs.
- Dan Girardi was credited with a game-high, seven hits, and tied for the game-high with five blocked shots in 23:17 of ice time. Girardi skated in his 68th career NHL playoff contest, tying Adam Graves and Steve Vickers for ninth on the team’s all-time playoff games played list. The Rangers defenseman leads the team in blocked shots (14), and is tied for third on the team – including first among defenseman – in hits (14) in the playoffs.
- Brad Richards led all skaters with six shots on goal, and led the Rangers in faceoff wins (nine) and faceoff win percentage (56.3%; 9-for-16), in 21:59 of ice time. Richards led all forwards in ice time in the contest. The Rangers alternate captain leads the team in faceoff win percentage (54.5%; 30-for-55) and ranks second on the team in shots on goal (20) in the playoffs.
- Mats Zuccarello recorded five shots on goal, was credited with four hits, blocked two shots, and posted a plus-one rating in 18:14 of ice time. The Rangers forward ranks second on the team in hits (15) and third in shots on goal (11) in the playoffs.
We didn’t score today. I made a bad read on our PK and they get a goal. That’s how playoffs are won. I think for sure we had enough chances to win this game and I didn’t think we played a bad game but you’ve got to score goals to win hockey games and we didn’t do that today.
What did you see on the Giroux hit?
It’s a normal hit. He jumps and I don’t think it’s a bad hit. I just went for his body so I don’t know.
Was there more post whistle stuff that you guys were going to have today?
It’s the playoffs, it’s always like that. I think we stayed calm and obviously there is going to be a little bit in the heat of the moment but it’s a rivalry. It’s two tough teams, two good teams playing against each other. I think we played a good enough game to win tonight but we didn’t come through today and that’s frustrating but at the same time we have to take the positive with us and go back home.
What needs to change on the power play?
A lot. We had some good looks today but Philly is playing great and we just have to look and see what we can do better. We are trying as hard as we can out there but they’re playing pretty well. We have to get better on that for sure. Even though I think we created enough chances 5 on 5 today to win this hockey game but we don’t score goals.
Rangers Goalie Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik, did you feel like despite losing this game that this was a game that was winnable for you guys, especially after the first period you guys played?
Absolutely. I felt like we did a lot of good things but the difference tonight is special teams. They beat us with one goal in that department and that’s the difference. It’s a game where it’s hard to create the big chances so when you get an opportunity on the power play or trying to kill their power play, it’s going to be huge in this series. It’s been the difference in a couple games already.
The first goal, that’s a very lively dashboard there. Did you sense that that was where that puck was going, out the other side?
I didn’t expect it to come out that fast and on his stick he came faster so it was hard for me to get across. Your reaction is to kind of turn to your right first and and then you realize it’s coming out on your left side. It was close that I got it but it was not enough. But again, I felt like we played very well, especially in the first and second period. In the third, they shut it down pretty good. We have to take advantage of when we get the big opportunities to really put it in there. We had a few chances but they played well. We just have to go back to New York and regroup here and go for a big one on Sunday.
Is their aggression on the penalty kill noticeable to you and do you think that was a difference in why you guys weren’t able to get as many shots on goal during the power play?
I don’t think I am the right person to answer that. When it comes to the penalty kill, they move the puck well and they are looking for sticks a lot. They are going for a lot of deflections. You try to fight through screens and be as big as you can but they made a good play on the goal.
You mentioned the big game on Sunday. Is there more frustration that you didn’t grab the bigger lead down here or optimism that you still have the home ice advantage?
It’s definitely a disappointment to not get the win here. I felt like we played good enough but at the same time we talked about going into this, special team within the game, that game, is so important. They beat us 1-0 there and that was the difference. We had our opportunities but in a game like this you can’t afford too many mistakes.
Will you just discuss the battle on the ice all night? It seemed like just a heavily contested game, 60 minutes.
“It was a heavy game. It was a physical battle and it was a playoff-type game.”
How different was it with [Braydon] Coburn the way he was playing you tonight? He seemed to be trying to get extra physical. Do you think that made a difference?
“I thought he’d been playing like that all series. All their D-men have been finishing their checks, playing physical. We’ve got to hold on to pucks and bump off them.”
Rick, did you feel like with amount of shots you had in the game that you made [Steve] Mason’s life difficult enough in his first game in two weeks?
“No. I don’t think it was difficult enough. Get more traffic, more primary scoring chances. We had a lot of stuff from the outside.”
When you assess the power play situation, it seemed like it was difficult to get shots through. What made tonight’s power play difficult for you?
“I don’t know exactly what it was. We’ll have to watch it on video, but I can say it was definitely a game breaker. It was the deciding factor in the game. They score on their power play and we couldn’t get the job done on ours.”
So what, you go back to New York now, it’s a best of three, what emotions? What feelings do you take back to New York after this one?
“It’s a battle of three now and we need a huge game on home ice on Sunday. We need our fans as loud as usual and the Madison Square Garden rocking.”
“Yeah there was a lot of back and forth.. They had surges, we had surges….[inaudible].”
It seemed like there were very few opportunities to shoot on the power play. Were they doing a real good job closing up the lanes or were you guys just trying to find the perfect shot?
“Sometimes you get thinking a little bit too much, trying to look for a pretty play but I don’t think we established the shot like we talked about but we had some pretty good looks. Just like I said I think the biggest thing was we didn’t get to second and third opportunities on Mason and didn’t make his first game back too tough as far as traffic and screening.”
Did you get your hand caught in a hold there and did it hurt your hand?
“Yeah, and no.”
What do you think now best of three, two games at home, what’s the emotion? Is there still the sense of optimism here?
“Absolutely, we believe in ourselves here. We’ve got to just take it day by day, get ready for practice, look at a few things, correct a few things, but have faith. Play the way we know we’re capable of and we’ll be alright and just take care of business here in game five and focus on that one.”
Photo by Getty Images.