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New York Rangers drop 3-2 shootout decision to the Philadelphia Flyers (Highlights)

The New York Rangers went into the Christmas break playing one more game Sunday night against the hated Philadelphia Flyers at MSG.

Frank Curto

New York Rangers  2 (15-4-5, 35 PTS.)
Scorers: Kreider (17), Nieves (1)
Philadelphia Flyers  3 SO (14-6-4, 32 PTS.)
Scorers: Raffl (1), Simmonds (11)
NHL, Final: Box Score
Venue: Madison Square Garden

The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers both struggled to stir up any real action as the game lacked the hitting and fighting that normally is associated with these games. But then the third period began and the 2-2 score headed to overtime.

Both teams were playing the second night of back-to-back games.

The Flyers coming off a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3, on Saturday night as the Rangers dropped a 5-3 loss to Toronto to the Maple Leafs.

The Rangers, still looking for the right line combination, switched Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich in the lineup to start the game. The lineups remained the same as last night against Toronto other than Henrik Lundqvist in net against the Flyers.

Kevin Hayes set up Chris Kreider as he scored his 17th goal of the season to give the Rangers a 1-0 first-period lead.

Hayes has now registered a point in seven consecutive games. Kreider beat Flyers goalie Neuvirth on the short side on a beautiful shot off a pass that put Kreider in alone on a breakaway.

That’s how the first period ended. The Flyers and Rangers each tallied just five shots on goal.

The Flyers took advantage of a poor decision by Marc Staal’s pinch at the blue line and the Flyers were able to tie the game just 1:46 into the period at one as Michael Raffl scored his first of the year.

The Rangers had their first power play of the game and went with five forwards, Namestnikov, Zuccarello, Kreider, Hayes, and Buchnevich a sign of how bad the PP has been, but the result was the same as the game remained tied.

Brady Skjei gave the Flyers their first power play of the game with just 2:39 left in the second, but the Flyers failed to take advantage. They wound up taking a penalty with 41 seconds left in the period. The Rangers failed themselves to convert and the game entered the third period tied at one.

The third period kicked off with the Rangers still on a power play, again going with five forwards. Again it failed as a unit as the Rangers dropped to 0-2 on the man advantage.

The thorn in the Rangers backside struck gain as the Rangers took another too-many-men on the ice penalty with just over 15 minutes left in the period. Just 8 seconds later Wayne Simmonds scored off a rebound deflection to give the Flyers a 2-1 led. It accounted as Simmonds’s 11th of the year.

But 22 seconds after the power play goal, Boo Nieves scored as he was all alone in front of the Flyers net. His first goal of the season was assisted by Lias Andersson and the game was tied again at two.

After overtime could not resolve the tied game, the teams headed to a shootout. The shootout then needed extra shooters after the first six could not convert a single goal.

Shooter number seven, Flyers Nolan Patrick, finally buried one to give his team the lead and eventual game-winner. Kevin Hayes was the last hope and when he missed, the team was swept over the to weekend games and another loss on the season.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com