NEW YORK -- It was too little too late for the Flyers.
The Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist staved off a resurgent Flyers team, holding on to win 2-1 in a wild game at Madison Square Garden. The score reflected their first meeting last Thursday, this time with a different result.
The Flyers were flat from the opening face off. The Rangers controlled the puck and the flow, keeping the action in the Flyers half of the ice.
(Photo: Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in the win. Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)
The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.
It has been made official today that Claude Giroux has become the 19th captain in Flyers history. He replaces Chris Pronger, who has not played in 15 months, nor looks like he ever will return to the ice due to post-concussion symptoms.
The Flyers are expecting to start the season without injured forward Danny Briere.
But in a turn of events, Briere could actually return sooner than expected. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said that Briere is, "healing really well and going in the right direction" in regards to Briere's wrist injury sustained in Europe at the end of December.
Holmgren then said that the forward had incurred a stress fracture on his left wrist. Originally the team thought Briere had a sprain or a bone bruise.
Hockey will finally resume on January 19, but the talks concerning a certain letter in the alphabet has already begun for the Flyers.
Chris Pronger is nowhere nearing a return to the ice. And with his retirement inevitable - but not official due to his contract - the designated captain slot will remain vacant until the Flyers decide to finally fill the void.
Three names have been on the lips of fans during the 2011-12 season: veterans Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen, and the young leader of the team, Claude Giroux. Only one of those players has remained a hot topic for the captaincy and it's the one who many around the NHL view to be the future of the Flyers and the league.
Sam Carchidi threw up a tweet that shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone. Giroux's best friend and locker room leader Scott Hartnell said that "Giroux is ready to be captain."
There is a laundry list of reasons given when a team doesn’t perform well: tension in the locker room, injuries, a lack of jump, so on and so forth. The team vows that they’ll play better next time, that they’ll keep working at it, and they’ll be just fine.
That’s a vow the Flyers are going to need to keep in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, after dropping two games in a row to the New Jersey Devils and falling a game behind in the series.
A one-game deficit might not sound like that big of an issue, but with the way the Flyers have played over the last two games, tying the series up seems like a much more daunting task than it usually might.
There have been slow starts, lapses in communication, weak goals allowed, and defensive breakdowns – things that the team has been dealing with all season. After 91 games, it’s about time that they figure out a solution to those issues.