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Tarasenko, Rangers Rally to Win in Overtime After Flyers Blow Another Third Period Lead, 3-2

(Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers blew a third period lead before losing yet another overtime game, this time to the New York Rangers by a score of 3-2.

The Flyers employed an 11/7 formation, while the Rangers went with 11/5 due to cap related reasons. Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring less than 3 minutes into the game on the power play, which was responded to by an Owen Tippett – who played a game high 25:26 – power play marker near the end of the first period. Scott Laughton gave the Flyers the lead heading into the third period but Chris Kreider tied things up with a deflection goal midway through the final frame.

In overtime, it was the same old story, as the Flyers weren’t able to possess the puck and eventually the very talented Rangers team took advantage as Vladimir Tarasenko called game with a blistering snap-shot for his 3rd point of the night. Carter Hart played very well but the Flyers failed to give their goaltender the much needed goal support for the victory. He made 22 saves in the defeat, while Igor Shesterkin made 25 of his own to collect his 27th win of the season. The Rangers came into the game as the third best team in terms of goal differential in the third period and they had 17 comeback wins before they added to both of those categories.

After a disastrous back to back set on Friday and Saturday that saw the Philadelphia Flyers get dominated by the Montreal Canadiens and then absolutely steam rolled by the New Jersey Devils, they returned back to the ice and back into the confines of the Wells Fargo Center amidst a flurry of trades with the trade deadline fast approaching – unfortunately through all the excitement, the Flyers have stood pat. In what will most likely be James van Riemsdyk’s final game as a Flyer – at least for his second stint – he was an extra on the fourth line with Kevin Hayes, who has also found his name thrown into trade rumours. The Flyers employed 11 forwards and 7 defensemen again with Justin Braun playing as a showcase before Friday’s deadline with no one truly understanding why the Flyers were playing their trade candidates.

Noah Cates was seen centering Scott Laughton and Wade Allison, Morgan Frost was in between Joel Farabee and Owen Tippett, and Elliot Desnoyers was centering Nicolas Deslauriers and Patrick Brown on the final trio. Ivan Provorov and Cam York were reunited, as were Rasmus Ristolainen and Travis Sanheim, and Tony DeAngelo patrolled the third pairing with Nick Seeler. Samuel Ersson was sent down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in anticipation of the AHL playoffs, so no surprise that Carter Hart reprised his role as starter and will likely take over the remaining games to end the season.

As for the New York Rangers, they’ve won 6 of their last 10 games, acquired Vladimir Tarasenko 3 weeks ago, Tyler Motte shortly afterwards, and finalized the Patrick Kane trade yesterday – Kane however did not make his Rangers debut tonight, and K’Andre Miller remained out of the lineup due to a 3-game suspension for spitting on Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.

The Rangers have dominated the recent season series against the Flyers that has included several nationally televised blowouts thanks in part to the three headed monster of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Adam Fox. No surprise that these three led the Rangers in points with 67, 64, and 56 coming into tonight, respectively. Igor Shesterkin was in between the pipes looking for his 27th win of the season despite pedestrian peripherals of .910 SV% and a 2.65 GAA. For cap-related reasons, the Rangers dressed 11 forwards and 5 defensemen.


2:35 into the first period, Scott Laughton was called for a slashing minor, sending the very dangerous New York Rangers power play to the ice. 16 seconds into the man advantage, the top unit of Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider, and Adam Fox connected with a tic-tac-toe from Panarin to Tarasenko to Zibanejad for his 19th power play goal of the season, 32nd goal overall, and 100th career power play goal.

After the 11th-ranked Rangers power play opened the scoring, the Flyers’ 32nd-ranked man advantage got their first opportunity 4:02 into the period after Artemi Panarin was called for a hooking minor. The Rangers registered 3 shots on goal while shorthanded with the Flyers’ lone attempt missing the net from a Rasmus Ristolainen point shot.

10:31 into the first period, Elliot Desnoyers had his stick slashed out of his hands by Barclay Goodrow, giving the anemic power play another crack at the whip as they looked to register at least one shot on goal this time around. The Flyers whiffed again and were not able to find the net with the Rangers hounding them, keeping them to the outside, and winning all the loose pucks to clear it down the ice.

Then once more, this time with 5:08 remaining, captain Jacob Trouba was whistled down for a tripping penalty as Cam York tried to make a power move towards the net. 25 seconds into the power play, Owen Tippett recorded the Flyers’ first power play shot and it beat Igor Shesterkin blocker-side for his 18th of the season. The goaltender poked the puck into the corner one-handed, Desnoyers batted it down, Ristolainen then sent the puck towards the front of the net where Tippett finished it off in quick order to tie it up at 1.

The Rangers started the game with a lot of pace, dangerous looks, and of course the early 1-0 lead but the Flyers eventually found their legs, were awarded 3 power play opportunities – Rangers head coach, Gerard Gallant was seen speaking to the referees after the Tippett goal, most likely complaining about the Trouba penalty and the lopsided 3-1 advantage – and even outshot the Rangers 10-9. The Flyers kept New York to only 4 shots in the final 12:06, they themselves took 9 shots in that stretch, and Carter Hart made some big saves to keep the deficit at 1 – at the time – with Barclay Goodrow and Artemi Panarin coming close in quick succession.


The Rangers’ 11/5 formation started to slowly rear its ugly head at the beginning of the second period with the Flyers hounding them all over the offensive zone and hemming them with their strong forechecking. Elliot Desnoyers was at the forefront of this strong forecheck, once again impressing in just his second game, Morgan Frost then had a net-front chance and it looked as if he was being hooked but the referees kept quiet.

Owen Tippett had 2 scoring chances, one coming from the rebound from Frost’s initial chance and then another one as he made a move down the wing into the middle of the ice but roofed the shot too high. Tippett’s chance came right after Carter Hart had robbed Filip Chytil in the slot on a one-time opportunity that was set up by Artemi Panarin.

The Flyers’ relentless pressure continued with Wade Allison ringing one off the pipe, then Owen Tippett had a few more chances, before Scott Laughton roofed one top-shelf over Shesterkin’s near-shoulder for his second goal in 15 games and 14th goal of the season. After another strong offensive zone shift that started with Laughton taking the body and hounding the tired legs of the Rangers defense that had been on the ice for close to 90 seconds, Kevin Hayes and Laughton played pitch and catch in the corner and below the goal-line with the latter coming in from the side of the net and beating Shesterkin who was down on his knees a little too early. That decision afforded Laughton the ability to find his spot and beat him over his shoulder at the 11:16 mark of the second period.

The second period ended with the Flyers up 2-1, ahead on the shot chart with a 20-18 edge – another 10-9 period – and were taking advantage of the Rangers tired legs. Adam Fox had played 17:11, Niko Mikkola had played 16:36, Braden Schneider had played 15:46, and Jacob Trouba had played 15:27. On the other side of the ice, the Flyers were relatively even in ice time except for Owen Tippett who was pacing both teams with 17:45 of ice time, while 2nd-highest was Rasmus Ristolainen at 14:39.


1:25 into the final frame – the third best team in the third period in terms of goal differential – were mere inches away from tying the game after Barclay Goodrow’s one time opportunity rang off the far post. Vincent Trocheck was in a golden spot to shoot himself, which Carter Hart had to respect, but he quickly one-touched it to Goodrow near the corner boards whose shot traveled cross-crease and pinged the far post.

Then a few minutes later, Joel Farabee committed a very bad turnover in the slot, to which Alexis Lafreniere corralled the puck but his shot went high and wide. He then had another crack at the net after he was set up for a one-timer at the faceoff dot but Hart was able to slide over in time and cover for the whistle.

With 9:27 remaining and the Rangers coming in wave after wave, Vladimir Tarasenko tried sending a pass to Ben Harpur at the point that missed the defenseman, however it bounced off the boards and back to Tarasenko who blasted a slap-shot that was deflected by Chris Kreider at the front of the net for his 16th career goal against the Flyers and his 26th of the season.

The Flyers didn’t have much going in the third period offensively as they weren’t really able to traverse the neutral zone into the offensive zone with the Rangers clogging it up or hemming the Flyers defense in their own end.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 7-6 in the final frame but the shots were indicative of the dominant period that the Rangers had as a lot of their chances were either blocked or missed the net. They headed into overtime tied at 2 apiece after Kreider tied thing up midway through the third period.


The Rangers were 4-7 in overtime while the Flyers were 1-9 entering tonight.

Unfortunately, the Flyers were handed their 10th 3-on-3 loss after Vladimir Tarasenko whipped through the neutral zone, into the offensive zone, and then ripped a shot past Carter Hart for this 3rd goal as a Ranger, his 3rd point of the night, and 13th of the season.

Filip Chytil created the play with a deceptive backhand pass that fooled Morgan Frost in the neutral zone, which allowed Tarasenko to rev up with speed and completely fool Rasmus Ristolainen before depositing a rocket of a shot past the goaltender for the win.

Possession is the name of the game in overtime and the Flyers weren’t able to corral the puck for longer than 5 seconds in the 2:32 of overtime.


The Flyers will have a few days off before hosting the Detroit Red Wings at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night (6:00pm ET, NBC Sports Philadelphia).

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