Courtesy Twitter: @NHLFlyers

Rangers drop another crucial game as playoff hopes fade.

Another New York Rangers game, another NHL debut. Head coach David Quinn revealed that defenseman Zac Jones would make his NHL debut in Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Fans have been waiting for this day to come and now that Jacob Trouba is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Jones making his debut made all the sense in the world.

Lineup changes:
• Alexis Lafrenière to the top line, Chris Kreider to the third
• K’Andre Miller-Brendan Smith
• Jones would skate alongside Libor Hájek, meaning Anthony Bitetto would come out
• Igor Shesterkin in net

1st period: Big goal

The first period was the Rangers’ best of the game. They outshot the Flyers 14-11 this period and scored a goal to take a 1-0 lead.

Brendan Smith continues to produce, with assists from the two youngsters Filip Chytil and K’Andre Miller. Chytil was buzzing this period and stood out more so than any other player.

This was a great period for the Rangers, who were in good shape heading into the second, but would need to maintain this play and not sit on their one-goal lead.

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2nd period: Rough one

The second period was nothing short of ugly for the Rangers. The goal the Flyers scored was more so lucky than anything else, but the Rangers committed a whopping three penalties, not including a hooking call on Hájek that gave the Flyers a penalty shot.

Considering the fact that the Rangers were killing penalties and unable to do anything offensively for most of the period, heading into the final third tied at one isn’t the end of the world. Props to Shesterkin, who came up big for his team in net.

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3rd period: Far from clean

Aside from Artemiy Panarin scoring the team’s second of the game, the third wasn’t pretty for the Rangers. They committed yet another penalty (Miller was booked for a double-minor) that was the nail in the coffin.

The Flyers scored two goals this period and with this loss, it’s looking less and less likely that the Rangers will be playing playoff hockey.

They’re losing games that they must win in order finish top-four, but at least they now have the chance to continue to develop the youngsters.

We’re also seeing just how important and underrated Trouba is.

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Key Moment: Penalty #1 of period #2

The key moment of the game was Kreider’s penalty in the second, the first of the period. It kicked off what turned out to be an incredibly undisciplined 20 (technically, 40) minutes for the Rangers.

They ended up conceding a goal here and couldn’t get any type of momentum going because they were almost always shorthanded. Little things like this end up hurting teams like the Rangers in the long-run.

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Player of the game: Adam Fox

Fox is, once again, the Rangers’ player of the game. He continues to be the team’s best defenseman as well as arguably their second-best player.

Fox’s numbers: 28:04 TOI, 1 A, 55.77 CF%, 0.07 iXG, 3 blocks, 0.77 xGF, 0.43 xGA, 0 GF, 0 GA, 1.69 Game Score, 0.84 defensive rating, -0.04 offensive rating, and 0.89 individual rating.

Stats are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Stat Cards.

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