After falling down by two goals early, the Flyers were hoping for a repeat of Game 2, their two-goal come-from-behind win in New York Sunday. But Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
The Rangers quieted the rowdy Philly crowd (all adorned in orange) lass than four minutes into the first period when bad transition defense led to a Derek Stepan goal on a shot that Ray Emery really had no chance at saving.
There was more damage six minutes later when a redirect sent a Dan Giradi shot passed Emery, off the stick of Martin St. Louis, giving Philadelphia its second 2-0 deficit in as many games.
The Flyers looked poised to repeat their Game 2 performance, scoring on a Mark Streit goal after a brilliant pass from Claude Giroux to Jakub Voracek found Streit’s stick, cutting the lead to 2-1 as the first period wound down.
“Even when they were up by two and we got that goal I had a good feeling,” Streit said. “There were a lot of positives tonight. At that point I thought we would get back in the game. I had a good feeling but then they had that third goal.”
Unlike in Game 2, The Rangers added to their lead again, with a Dan Girardi goal five minutes into the second, upping the Flyers’ deficit to 3-1.
Looking a little down and depleted toward the middle of the second period, the Flyers drew a key penalty after a fight between Voracek and Carl Hagelin gave the crowd something to cheer about. Though that power play yielded little by way of offense, another one came with four minutes to go in stanza No. 2. Even with a 25-17 shot lead after two periods, the Flyers trailed by two goals with 20 minutes remaining.
“If you don’t get it to the net you’re not going to score,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “We need deception here and there to get it through.”
Adding insult to injury, it was Dan Carcillo, the former Flyers enforcer scored the Rangers’ fourth goal, to all-but clinch Game 3 for New York.
The Flyers had an enormous edge in shots on goal, and that doesn’t even account for the seemingly countless blocked shots by the Rangers defense.
“I don’t think we played that bad of a game,” Kimmo Timonen said. “We had momentum, it was a 2-1 game. They do a really good job around the goalie and we have to find a way to do things a little quicker. We try and get pucks through but they block a lot of shots. They do a good job shutting the lanes, and those things are huge.”
Ray Emery was good, but not good enough, allowing some tough luck goals early in the game. The Flyers can’t win a series against the Rangers if they continue to fall behind. After allowing a fourth goal Berube elected to put in ace goalie Steve Mason, hoping to get rid of some rust before Game 4 Friday night.
“At that time I thought it was a good idea to get him in there,” Berube said, “to get him used to it a little bit. He looked okay, didn’t get a lot of work.”
Game 4 will be in Philly again, Friday night at 7 p.m.