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Ray Emery Keys Philadelphia Flyers’ Game 2 Victory

April 20th, 2014 at 6:23 PM
By Tyler Ruby

The Philadelphia Flyers headed into Game 2 at Madison Square Garden in a must-win situation, and they came through with a 4-2 victory against the New York Rangers, snapping a three-year losing streak at the World's Most Famous Arena. 

Within the first 10 minutes of the game, the game seemed to be going down an all too familiar path as the Flyers saw themselves down 2-0 after Martin St. Louis and Benoit Pouliot scored off of one-times from the same spot on the ice. But a single goal by Jakub Voracek changed the momentum of the game. After receiving a pass from Hartnell, Voracek used his speed to beat Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers' top defenseman, on the outside to beat Henrik Lundqvist.

The game had changed. At the start of the second period, the Flyers were playing differently. They were playing with urgency and passion, establishing the forecheck and turning the game into a physical war. Not to mention that Ray Emery stood on his head in the second period. He made big save after big save to prevent the Rangers from scoring the next goal. He played so well in fact that the question that now faces head coach Craig Berube is whether Emery or Steve Mason will start Game 2 on Tuesday.

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Philadelphia Flyers Face Crucial Test in Game 2 Against the New York Rangers

April 19th, 2014 at 7:46 PM
By Tyler Ruby

The Philadelphia Flyers enter a must-win scenario in an Easter Sunday matinee against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden

Already down 1-0 in the series, the Flyers must right the ship after being thoroughly dominated in Game 1. But most importantly, the Flyers need to prove to themselves that they can win at MSG. They have lost their last nine games there, and a win against the Rangers Sunday could also plant a seed of doubt in the Rangers' minds, especially heading back to the Wells Fargo Center, where the Flyers have had plenty of success this year.

If the Flyers are going to win this game, it's going to come down to the grinders: Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, etc. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek will be receiving a lot of attention from Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi, and while they preoccupied with each other, players like Simmonds, Hartnell and Matt Read are going to be responsible for scoring the goals. That's how the Flyers are going to beat Henrik Lundqvist anyway. Dirty goals with traffic in front of the net are most effective with Lundqvist because most of the time if he sees it, he will stop it. That's how Andrew MacDonald scored the lone goal for the Flyers in Game 1. They need to get more shots on goal because 16 shots is just not going to cut it against a top team like the Rangers.

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Philadelphia Flyers Drop Game 1 to the New York Rangers

April 17th, 2014 at 10:01 PM
By Tyler Ruby

The Philadelphia Flyers lost Game 1 against the New York Rangers Thursday Night, and they are now winless in their last nine visits to Madison Square Garden.

Now, Game 2 becomes a must-win game for the Flyers. They can't go down 0-2 to the Rangers, no matter how good the Flyers are at home. But most importantly, the Flyers need the confidence to know that they can win in that building because they were thoroughly dominated in Game 1.

Without Steve Mason in net, it was Ray Emery making the start, and the talk was all about whether or not he could fill in for Mason. He played well tonight, and he was not the reason the Flyers lost. It was the offense, or lack of one that cost the Flyers this game.

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The Flyers were outshot 36-15, but somehow they were still in the game until there was 10 minutes left in the third period. But Jason Akeson was called for a double minor after he caught Carl Hagelin with his stick during a hit along the boards. Brad Richards and Derek Stepan capitalized on that power play to put the game out of reach. With the way the Flyers were playing, there was no way that they were going to come back from two goals down with eight minutes left.

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Philadelphia Flyers Sign Top Prospect Shayne Gostisbehere

April 15th, 2014 at 1:27 PM
By Tyler Ruby

The Philadelphia Flyers are certainly intent on improving their defensive corps for the foreseeable future. After already signing the Andrew MacDonald to a contract extension today, they signed their top prospect Shayne Gostisbehere to an entry-level contract.

Gostisbehere will play the final weekend of games with the Adirondack Phantoms, and he has a legitimate chance to make the big squad next year. He is supremely talented, and he just led the Union Dutchmen, a school with 2200 students, to the NCAA hockey championship in the Wells Fargo Center last weekend. He put on a show in the building he will be calling home. In the championship against the University of Minnesota, Gostisbehere was +7, scored a goal and played a vital role in a number of other goals.

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But probably his biggest play of the game came in the final minutes when he made a sliding poke check on a charging Minnesota offense to preserve a one-goal lead. That  was the pivotal play in the game, and it led to a Union goal at the other end of the ice. Gostisbehere didn't shy away from the big moments; he thrived in them. That's a great sign for a Flyers defense that has struggled the past few years.  

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Philadelphia Flyers Sign Defenseman Andrew MacDonald to Contract Extension

April 15th, 2014 at 1:02 PM
By Tyler Ruby

When the Philadelphia Flyers traded for Andrew MacDonald from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline this season, general manager Paul Holmgren stated that it was his intention to re-sign him because he was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Well today, MacDonald signed a six-year, $30 million extension.

Holmgren has shown in the past that he is willing to hand out big, sometimes questionable contracts to players he feels could benefit the team. Here is just another example.

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Since his trade, he has played well with the Flyers, and he has given them a slight upgrade on the back end. He leads the league in blocked shots with 242, which is exactly what the Flyers try to do when they are in their own zone. 

The 27-year-old finished with 28 points, including four goals and 24 assists. According to Dave Isaac of the Courier Post, the contract extension would suggest that MacDonald should see an increased role with the Flyers' defensive corps next year. During his time with the Flyers, he has spent the majority of the season with the third pair, and he hasn't seen nearly the ice time that he did with the New York Islanders. That may be the key to his play with the Flyers. With Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and Mark Streit logging heavy minutes, there isn't the pressure for MacDonald to be the shut-down guy.

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