Lundqvist leads Rangers to a win past the Flyers; Hayes records 100th career point

Bobby Bevilacqua


Matt Puempel gets hi fives from teammates after scoring in his Ranger debut. Photo courtesy of Led Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images.

The Rangers (15-6-1) got back in the win column in a thrilling victory over the Flyers (9-10-3), mainly due to a fantastic performance from Henrik Lundqvist, who made 40 saves in this game.

Alain Vigneault’s squad did a better job of scoring today than they did against the Penguins, but the Flyers still managed 42 shots on goal, which was 19 more than the Rangers had. Realistically, Lundqvist stole this game away because the Rangers could have easily lost this game.

It’s slowly becoming the norm where the Rangers get outshot and post pretty dismal possession numbers, but still come away with a win. They’ll win either because they score a lot of goals with an unsustainable shooting percentage, or the goalie performs extremely well. Over the course of a whole season, that is not what you want, because there will be regression.

However, we can give the team credit for always capitalizing on their chances. This team has done a very good job of scoring in their limited chances and capitalizing on turnovers, breakdowns and miscues. We’ll see if that lasts, but so far it’s been good.

Derek Stepan opened up the scoring, and Matt Puempel scored his first goal of the season and his first as a Ranger after making his debut this season. Kevin Hayes’ 10th goal of the season, and his 100th career NHL point, wound up being the game winner.

The first period was traditional Rangers versus Flyers hockey. A ton of hard hits, forechecking, chippy play and some goal scoring as well. It may have been one of the most fun periods to watch this season, especially because the Rangers came away with a 2-0 lead.

It took just 17 seconds for the Rangers to get their first power play after Dale Weise was sent to the penalty box for a high sticking double minor. It took a while for the Rangers to get going, but they had some really good chances and excellent puck movement. The Flyers made it challenging to get shots through and came up with a big penalty kill.

Shortly after that, Brandon Pirri and Travis Konecny got into a bit of a fight after Pirri hit Brandon Manning into the boards. It wasn’t a bad hit but it looked worse than it was, and Konecny brought Pirri down to the ice but was given 17 total penalty minutes. That set the tone for the period, as there would be a lot of hard hits and pushing and shoving after the whistle.

The Rangers turned defense into offense after the 13 minute mark, and it was Derek Stepan scoring his fourth goal of the season. The Flyers had a sequence of 30 seconds of offensive possession, but Henrik Lundqvist made three or four good saves, including a point blank top on Matt Read, and allowed the Rangers to start a transition.

JT Miller hustled to negate an icing, working behind the net to throw a hit and then force a turnover. He set up Derek Stepan with a pass through the crease, and Step had a wide open net to finish into. He has 14 points (4-10-14) in the last 20 games, and nine points (4-5-9) in the last 13 games.

Just over a minute later, Matt Puempel scored his first goal in his debut as a Ranger after being claimed off of waivers from the Ottawa Senators. Josh Jooris chipped it out of the zone to Jimmy Vesey, and he began an odd man rush. After a perfect backhand saucer pass to a streaking Puempel, he sniped it past Mason for his first goal in blue, giving the Rangers a two goal lead.

Kreider got into a fight with Brandon Manning to end the period, and the Rangers headed into the locker room with a 2-0 lead despite getting outshot 11-7.

Kreider got into a fight with Brandon Manning to end the period, and the Rangers headed into the locker room with a 2-0 lead despite getting outshot 11-7.

The second period was not a great one for the Rangers, but they still managed to score another goal and further extend their lead, mostly due to the stellar play of Henrik Lundqvist.

Hank made quite a few exceptional saves in this period, most notably a redirection from in close, two stuff in chances from Dale Weise and Ivan Provorov, and a point blank save of Claude Giroux. Lundqvist’s positioning was the best part of his game today.

The Rangers would extend their lead thanks to Kevin Hayes, who picked up his 100th career NHL point on his 10th goal of the season. The Flyers tried to clear the zone but had an awful turnover right up the middle of the ice. Nick Holden intercepted the puck and sent a perfect pass right to the stick of Hayes, who redirected it past Mason.

Out of Hayes’ first 100 points, 85 of them were primary points, meaning either a goal or a first assists. That’s a pretty remarkable number and it speaks to his talent level as well as his fantastic ability to create offensive chances.

The third period saw the Rangers mostly sit back and allow the Flyers to relentlessly send shots at Henrik Lundqvist. Typically a pretty bad strategy, and it nearly cost Alain Vigneault here.

The Flyers scored their first goal of the period just over a minute in. Chris VandeVelde scored his third goal of the season thanks to a bad defensive read by Brandon Pirri and Kevin Klein as well as relentless effort from Andrew MacDonald. MacDonald threw a bad angle shot into the crease that happened to deflect off of VandeVelde’s skate and past Lundqvist.

Henrik was making save after save for the first 17 minutes of the period, while Steve Mason also made some nice stops of his own. There was a period of two or three minutes where the Rangers pressured, and their best chance came on a Michael Grabner breakaway. He was denied.

The Flyers pulled Steve Mason with just over three minutes to play, and they would cut the lead to one with 2:04 to play. Shane Gostisbehere scored on a blast from the point that deflected off of Mats Zuccarello and into the net.

The Flyers would come extremely close to scoring multiple times in the last minute of the game, but Lundqvist stood tall and the defense was blocking shots. In the end, the Rangers were lucky to skate away with two points.

The Rangers will look to stay in the win column and improve their play when they take on the Ottawa Senators at MSG on Sunday.


  • Henrik Lundqvist – 40 SV, .952 SV%
  • Kevin Hayes – 1 G, 2 SOG, 15:40 TOT
  • Matt Puempel – 1 G, 2 SOG, 12:32 TOT


Posted on November 25, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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