Weak Power Play is a Problem For New York Rangers
The New York Rangers squandered an early 2-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of their first round series, knotting it at one game apiece. New York played poorly in many phases of the game on Sunday, but their lackluster power play was most noticeable.
The Rangers finished the regular season with just seven power play goals in the final 20 games, but they seemed to put that behind them in Game 1. Two quick power play goals won Game 1 for New York, but they couldn’t capitalize with a man advantage in Game 2 when they needed it most.
The Rangers went 1-for-6 on the power play in the game but couldn’t convert at key times to stop Philly’s momentum. The Flyers showed tremendous resilience after quickly falling behind 2-0 at Madison Square Garden. Philadelphia completed the comeback with four unanswered goals to steal the Flyers’ first MSG win since 2011.
The Rangers had their chances to regain control of the game but played extremely sloppy on the power play. Credit the Flyers for playing some stout defense, especially on the penalty kill. They forced the Rangers to the outside and almost had 20 blocked shots before the third period even started. New York’s biggest opportunity came midway through the second period when they had a four on three man advantage for 1:42. With only seven skaters on the ice, there’s plenty of space for New York to execute quick passes from side to side. Quick passing was on display for both of the Rangers’ goals in Game 2, but they didn’t execute during the four on three.
If New York had converted, they would have regained the lead. Instead, Philly didn’t give an inch and handily killed the penalty. Two minutes later, Luke Schenn scored the game-winning goal for Philadelphia.
As the series shifts to Philly, the Rangers must regain composure on the power play. They didn’t look comfortable for most of Game 2. Taking the opposition out of their comfort zone is a main element to Philly’s game. New York needs to make the adjustment to counter the Flyers’ pesky fore check.
New York needs to rely on their playmakers like Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello to regain confidence on the power play in Game 3. One thing is for certain; the Flyers are heading home with a ton of confidence after finally breaking their losing streak at MSG.