The New York Rangers showed on Tuesday night why they had more road wins than any other team in the Eastern Conference this season. After losing at home in Game 2, New York defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center.
The Rangers won 25 games away from Madison Square Garden this season, setting a franchise record. New York relied on their defense to secure a pivotal Game 3 that gave them the 2-1 edge in the best of seven series. The Rangers needed to block more shots and wipe out the Philly’s passing lanes entering the game. The defense delivered; the Rangers blocked 28 shots, one shy of the 29 shots that New York blocked in the first two games combined.
Ryan McDonaugh and Dan Girardi block their fair share of shots every game, but in Game 3 it was everyone getting into the mix to help Henrik Lundqvist. All but three Ranger skaters had at least one blocked shot; Girardi led the team with five.
While 32 Philadelphia shots did find their way to the New York netminder Lundqvist, the two-time Olympic medalist was spectacular in Game 3, stopping all but one. Lundqvist came up big after Philly had cut a 2-0 Ranger lead in half. There were gigantic momentum swings during the first period, and Lundqvist made timely saves that kept it in New York’s favor.
The Rangers settled down and controlled play for most of the second period. Girardi played a strong game that included his first goal of the playoffs. His goal was extremely important, as it restored a two-goal lead for New York. Lundqvist knew how important Game 3 was, and he was New York’s best player.
Each team had their chances on the power play, but New York continued to block shots on the penalty kill. The Flyers need to respond in Game 4, or they will be heading back to MSG facing elimination. The Rangers broke a three-game road losing streak against their rivals.