The Rangers won game 3 of the NHL Playoffs against the Flyers with a commanding 4-1 victory. The Flyers played their best game of the series, but fell behind 2-0 early in the first period after the Rangers caught the bounces that they didn’t get in game 2. That turned out to be all she wrote as the Flyers were only able to squeak one goal past Henrik Lundqvist.
Optically, the Rangers never seemed to be in real danger of falling behind game 3. Although, the possession numbers are heavily skewed in the Flyers favor, the majority of that can be chalked up to score effects. Remember, the Rangers were ahead by at least two goals for most of the game.
The story of the game is Dan Carcillo, for obvious reasons. But the real deciding factor was the fact that the Flyers were blanked on the power play. Unlike in games 1 and 2, the Flyers frequently found themselves on the man advantage; largely because the officials were drunk last night. One of the keys to this series was winning the special teams battle. The Rangers didn’t score on their own power plays last night, but they kept the game out of reach by keeping the Flyers’ version off the board in their five opportunities.
The Rangers are starting to roll, Martin St. Louis has made his presence known in all three games. Rick Nash and his 18 shots on goal are the most thus far in the playoffs. Derek Stepan has been good enough, that Flyers head coach Craig Berube is actively trying to keep Claude Giroux away from him. Had the Rangers not squandered their 2-0 lead in game 2, the series would be effectively over. But those are the sins of losing home games in the playoffs.
The temperature will continue to be dialed up though. The series is obviously far from over. Game 4 will be the Flyers best game of the series. Giroux has already ‘guaranteed’ a victory for the Flyers, which is like, totally dramatic considering its the first round of the playoffs in a non-elimination game.