Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flyers Manage One Point Against Rangers

In a matchup that had a little bit of everything, the Flyers came up short, losing to the Rangers 5-4 in a game that was decided in a shootout. The game was a scoring fest in the first period, with both teams getting three goals. That led goaltender switches for both squads, with the Rangers removing Henrik Lundqvist after the first period and replacing him with the Flyer-killer Stephen Valiquette, and the Flyers removing Antero Niitymaki after he gave up his fourth goal and replacing him with Martin Biron. Once the teams switched goalies, the game settled down into a defensive struggle. Jeff Carter managed a goal in the third period to force overtime, but the Flyers, as they are prone to do, lost the shootout and the chance to pass the Rangers in the standings. Here are a few notes from the game:

*Valiquette owns the Flyers The Flyers make Stephen Valiquette look like the next Patrick Roy. That's now 164 minutes Valiquette has played against the Flyers this season, and he has only let up one goal. He also stopped both Flyer attempts in the shootout.

*Carter stepping up Now that the trade rumors are gone, Jeff Carter has turned his play up a notch. Immediately after Mike Richards got hurt, Carter raised his game, and has 6 points in his last 5 games, including 2 goals today. He was all over the ice, getting to loose pucks and making plays.

*Modry back on the ice Jaroslav Modry was back after missing the last few games and looked rusty. He finished with a plus/minus of -3. Lasse Kukkonen, who had been playing better, was benched in favor of Modry.

*Boulerice in, Downie out There is no word that Steve Downie is injured, so it was peculiar to see Jesse Boulerice replacing Downie in the line-up. Boulerice doesn't bring much to the team besides his fighting skills, but they already have Riley Cote to do that. Although Downie is prone to the bad penalty, he has way more offensive skill than Boulerice. A team that wants to make the playoffs shouldn't be suiting up guys like Boulerice.

The Flyers look to bounce back against Buffalo on Tuesday.

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