Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss to Flyers
The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.
In the end, the Flyers scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 win in Game 2 and even up the series at 1-1 heading back down the New Jersey Turnpike for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Martin St. Louis scored his first postseason goal for the Rangers — and just second overall with New York — at the 4:08 mark to make it 1-0 Rangers. He was set up nicely by Rick Nash and Derek Stepan on the left side of the net. Benoit Pouliot quickly made it 2-0 on a power-play goal four minutes later.
Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek stemmed the tide at 14:14 in the first to pull back within one goal.
Jason Akeson atoned for a critical penalty in Game 1 with a power-play goal to tie it up 2-2 just 5:45 into the second period. Luke Schenn scored the eventual game-winner fewer than six minutes later.
Wayne Simmonds scored an impressive empty netter with just seconds left to ice the game for Philadelphia.
What went wrong …
1. Speed trap
The Rangers excelled in using their speed to back off the Flyers’ defense and force Ray Emery into moving side-to-side in Game 1 and the first 10 minutes of Sunday’s Game 2. Then, inexplicably, the Rangers went away from what had been highly effective and in doing so, allowed both the Flyers and their backup goaltender to gain confidence.
2. Avoid the scrum
Following the Game 1 win, the Rangers stressed the importance of staying disciplined against an opponent who would goad them into post-whistle scrums and penalties. Sunday afternoon, the Rangers allowed the Flyers to bait them into extracurriculars. Mats Zuccarello and Derek Dorsett were penalized for diving, while Dominic Moore was assessed a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second period, and Ryan McDonagh and St. Louis engaged Claude Giroux and Voracek in separate post-whistle wrestling matches in the third.
3. Where’s the king?
One of the truisms over these last nine seasons has been Henrik Lundqvist would be there to clean up mistakes made by his teammates. Even though he wasn’t the reason the Rangers’ lost Game 2, Lundqvist was decidedly mediocre in allowing three goals on 23 shots.
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.