NEW YORK CITY, New York — Late Wednesday, the New York Rangers announced their whole coaching staff would be unavailable for their game against Philadelphia. Due to COVID protocols, head coach Dave Quinn and assistants Jacques Martin, David Oliver, and Greg Brown were unavailable. In their spots, AHL coach Kris Knoblauch filled in the head coach spot; Associate general manager Chris Drury and Hartford associate head coach Gord Murphy also joined the bench.
Even without their coaching staff, the Rangers (12-12-4) did not slow down; they scored a stunning 7 goals in the 2nd period in route to a 9-0 blowout over the Flyers (14-10-3). Center Mika Zibanejad completed a natural hat trick in the period as the Rangers attack piled on the goals. His 6 points on 3 goals and 3 assists were historic; he became the 2nd player in NHL history to record 6 points in one period.
After the 5th goal, the Flyers pulled goaltender Brian Elliot. However, Carter Hart did not fare much better; he allowed 4 more goals, all in the 2nd period. The Rangers last scored 9 goals in a game in 1998, according to NYR Stats & Info on Twitter.
“Couldn’t defend and couldn’t make a play. I’m truly embarrassed,” said Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.
Georgiev Shuts Out Flyers
On the other side, Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev was outstanding. He faced just 3 fewer shots than the Flyers’ goaltenders combined (26) but saved them all. In his 13th start on the season, he completed his 2nd shut-out and his 6th career shut-out.
Nothing stood out for the Rangers statistically. For the most part, they took advantage of the Flyers’ mistakes with precision. The Flyers gave the Rangers 4 power-play opportunities, but that was not the difference; the Rangers only converted on one of the opportunities.
The defining moment came after a Rangers’ penalty. With the score at 5-0, the Flyers had something to build on when Ryan Lingren went to the box for slashing. However, it immediately turned on them; a turnover in the offensive zone turned into a breakaway for Zibanejad, who cashed in his 1st goal. Statistically, Pavel Buchnevich secured 2 goals and 2 assists, all in the second period as well. Also, Artemi Panarin (1 goal, 1 assist) and Ryan Strome (2 assists) both added 2 points as well.
On the season, the 9 goals scored are the most for the Rangers and the most given up by the Flyers. With the win, the Rangers are able to secure 3 points out of the two-game series with the Flyers. With 28 points, they sit in 6th place in the East Division standings. The Flyers stay in 5th in the East, with a 3-point edge on the Rangers.
Flyers @ Islanders, Thursday, March 18, Nassau Colliseum, Uniondale
NYRangers @ Capitals, Friday, March 19, Capital One Arena, Washingto