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Flyers-Rangers: 5 Observations as Hart, Philly Steal a Point in NY

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Tony DeAngelo, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Tony DeAngelo, an ex-Ranger who was booed all night, helps protect Carter Hart in Tuesday's game.

Many Philadelphia Flyers fans, I suppose, were changing channels Tuesday between the Phillies-Astros in Game 3 of the World Series, and the Orange and Black facing the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden.

What did you miss in the Flyers’ matchup?

Well, the Flyers again found a way to stay in the game against a superior team. Again goalie Carter Hart (35 saves) was excellent. And he got some puck luck (see below).

But in the end, the Rangers prevailed in overtime, 1-0, as Chris Kreider scored on a breakaway with 53 seconds left in the extra session.

Still, the Flyers (5-2-2) have to be satisfied to steal a point.

New York outshot the Flyers, 36-19, and had a 73-40 advantage in shot attempts. The Rangers, now 6-3-2, moved atop the Metropolitan Division with the victory.

“We definitely need to create a little more,” defenseman Tony DeAngelo said, adding the Flyers have to get more offensive and take some pressure off Hart.

Here are five observations:

1. Igor Shesterkin stood tall in the third.

The Philadelphia Flyers were outchanced all night, but Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin stood tall when needed late in the third period.

Before that, New York nearly snapped the scoreless tie. With about just under 15 minutes left in regulation, the Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere hit the post from point-blank range — the fourth time New York put a shot off iron during the game.

The Flyers’ Travis Konecny then had a great chance on the ensuing rush down the other end, but he was denied by Shesterkin.

Shesterkin, last season’s Vezina winner as the NHL’s best goalie, made his best save with 2:26 left in the third. He used his glove to rob Kevin Hayes from in close. With 1:11 to go, he ignited “EEE-GOR” chants when he again stopped Hayes from in close.

On Kreider’s goal, the Rangers broke out of the Flyers’ defensive zone on a three-on-none after Philly misfired on a shot. Kreider had 11 shot attempts (seven on goal) in the game.

2. The Rangers did everything but score in the second period.

New York swarmed the net and had numerous Grade-A chances in the second, a stanza in which it had a 14-4 shots domination. It felt like the Rangers were on a power play for most of the period; they were that dominating.

But Hart had all the answers.

“In the second period, we were in panic mode,” coach John Tortorella said. ” … But I’m not going to criticize the hockey team. They played hard. I think some guys are growing.”

Heading into the third, the teams were scoreless, but the Blueshirts had a 50-23 advantage in shot attempts.

The Rangers also hit the post three times in the first 40 minutes, including twice in the second period. Kreider nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:11 to go in the second, but his shot hit iron.

3. Carter Hart was especially superb on the Rangers’ first power play.

New York was given a second-period power play on a phantom tripping call on Wade Allison, and the Rangers skillfully moved the puck and had four high-quality chances with the man advantage.

Hart denied all of them, including a tip-in out front by Kreider.

“Carter,” Tortorella said, “gave us a chance.”

The 24-year-old goalie is 5-0-2 and hasn’t lost in regulation.

4. Tony DeAngelo didn’t let the boos bother him.

The Flyers’ defenseman was booed all night. His departure from New York, you’ll recall, didn’t go well.

DeAngelo took a positive view.

“Just a good building to play in,” he said. “MSG is probably the best building in the league.”

In any event, DeAngelo played another strong game. He made a key clear on the Rangers’ first power play, and he was active at both ends of the ice all night.

The South Jersey native played a team-high 25:44.

5. Rangers forward Vincent Trocheck was shaking his head in a scoreless first period.

Trocheck, stationed on the doorstep, put a shot off the post after a slick passing play with a little over 12 minutes left in the opening period. Less than a minute later, he was robbed by Hart as he tried to finish a shorthanded two-on-one.

New York had a 9-7 shots edge in an evenly played first period, one in which fourth-line center Lukas Sedlak was probably the Flyers’ best player.

Breakaways

Tortorella said Tanner Laczynski and Egor Zamula will probably play in Toronto on Wednesday because he wants some “fresh legs” in the lineup. Both were healthy scratches Tuesday. Felix Sandstrom is expected to be the goalie. … Konecny had 10 shot attempts, including four on goal. … The Flyers won 58% of the faceoffs. … New York outhit the visitors, 27-14. … Justin Braun, who was together with Nick Seeler on the third pairing, played in his 800th career game. … Right winger Zack MacEwen was tripped (no penalty was called) and injured in the first period; he went to the locker room for repairs and returned in the second stanza. … It was the only game the Flyers will play at MSG this season.

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