It seemed inevitable. Two periods of being outpossessed, outshot and outchanced eventually came back to bite the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jason Akeson's double minor penalty in the third period led to two power play goals from Brad Richards and Derek Stepan, which sunk the Philadelphia Flyers in game one by a score of 4-1. With the loss, it extended the team's losing streak at Madison Square Garden to nine games.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
Early in the season, the Blackhawks picked up several wins where their best game wasn't there for the full sixty minutes, but they still managed to win the game. It might have hinted of a Cup hangover, but as the season rolled on, it was clear that the team didn't have any such thing - just their ongoing tendency to play some very sloppy periods within otherwise solid games.
Tonight versus the Rangers was one of those nights. The Blackhawks let themselves get outplayed in the first, and found themselves down 2-0 less than ten minutes into the game. Brad Richards opened the scoring with an even-strength goal; Mats Zuccarello put in a power play goal next off a pair of od...
It was milestone night in Philadelphia, but unfortunately for them, the milestones all belonged to the Rangers.
On a night where three Rangers reached impressive plateaus, the Flyers hit rock bottom. They dropped an embarrassing loss to the Rangers, losing 5-2 to knock them down to 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The win for New York was the 400th career win for their head coach, John Tortorella.
Derek Stepan had a tremendous game for the Rangers, putting up a dominating four-point night.
(Pictured: Rich Nash is defended by Ruslan Fedotenko. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.