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Flyers Drop Intense Rivalry Game, Lose to Rangers, 3-1

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Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers
Garnet Hathaway was one of the lone bright spots for the Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers. (Photo: AP)

One day after Thanksgiving, Garnet Hathaway was about all about the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans could be thankful for in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers fell down 2-0 early, thanks to goals from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Zibanejad cashed in on a 2-on-1 after a defensive breakdown between both Nick Seeler and Ryan Poehling. Seconds later, Kreider doubled the Rangers’ lead after Travis Sanheim passed him the puck in the slot after a defensive zone draw. After just 1:53, the Flyers were in a hole that they weren’t prepared to climb out of.

Power Play Back to Normal

So, maybe the Philadelphia Flyers‘ power play is, in fact, not back.

Of course, the Flyers had to face Igor Shesterkin, but going 0-for-6 on the power play, dumping well over 30 shots on goal, and scoring just once isn’t going to cut it. Not against a division rival, not against one of the best teams in the league, and not against one of the best goalies in the league.

The Flyers had been tasked by head coach John Tortorella with sending more shots at the goal with traffic in front, and they’ve done that – credit for executing the system. The problem is that it’s become robotic and predictable, and there’s been almost zero creativity or individual movements with the puck.

Defensive Breakdowns Persist

A defensive breakdown can be spotted on each goal that went in Carter Hart’s net. Travis Sanheim was at fault for two of them.

To make the game 3-0, Zibanejad raced down the middle of the ice to catch up with Blake Wheeler, creating another 2-on-1 that he would once again convert on. Sanheim passively skated back, as if  he thought he was eliminating a passing lane to the back post. Nobody was home.

Instead, Zibanejad cut right across his face unabated to deposit a third Rangers goal.

Sean Couturier managed to score on a deflection to buy a goal back for the Flyers, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome those earlier mistakes.

Five For Fighting

Garnet Hathaway tried to give the Flyers a spark, fighting twice in the first period.

He handily dealt with Barclay Goodrow, and came out unscathed from the wrestling match with Will Cuylle. The Flyers, disappointingly, did not respond to Hathaway’s attempts to juice them up.

No. 19 was maybe the most noticeable forward on the ice in the game, but didn’t end up on the scoresheet, penalty minutes notwithstanding.

The Flyers will soon forget about this loss and move forward to their rematch against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

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