Two nights ago, the Philadelphia Flyers bested the New York Rangers in a game of speed and precision to even up the playoff series at two games apiece between the age old rivals. Sunday afternoon, in a simple version of role reversal, the Rangers used their own speed to take a 4-2 win and a 3-2 series lead against the Cinderella team of the season.
The issue on Sunday for the Flyers was not their inability to create chances, but rather the team’s inability to find a way to get past Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist, while playing a game with absolutely no sense of urgency.
Many might criticize Lundqvist for giving up a goal with less than two minutes left in the game, but his lack of reaction on the final Flyers’ tally is quickly overshadowed with the netminder’s reaction at so many others during the other 58 minutes.
What makes the pride and joy of this Rangers team compete at the level Lundqvist competes on night in and night out is his unrivaled athleticism. It’s a talent that, at many times, has been the only factor keeping the Rangers in this roller coaster of playoff games that the team has already faced against the Flyers.
With the opportunity to close out the series and stamp their ticket to Round 2 on the line this week, New York will need the speed brought in today’s game, no doubt. Even more so, the team will need Lundqvist to prove once more his right as the “king” of hockey.