With so much emphasis placed on the production of the first line, it often gets lost at how talented the Flyers subsequent lines are. Although the first line will most likely continue to be the team’s most productive line, it doesn’t mean that the other lines won’t sprinkle in production when need to be.
As if losing a two-goal lead in Monday’s Winter Classic wasn’t enough, the Philadelphia Flyers also lost one of their top scorers for at least the near future.
On Tuesday afternoon, general manager Paul Holmgren announced that Jaromir Jagr will be out 7-10 days with a groin strain. Jagr appeared to aggravate the injury during the second period of Monday’s game when he aggressively drove to the New York goal.
With Jagr out, several scenarios begin to surface. Not only will the team need to fill the opening left by the star forward on the top line, but it also opens up the opportunity for other players to earn some extra ice time with elevated play.
As Claude Giroux’s beautiful backhanded flip went over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Philadelphia’s Winter Classic seemed like it would be a total success. The Flyers had taken a 2-0 lead on Giroux’s team-high 18th goal in front of their home fans. In Citizens Bank Park, the majority of almost 47,000 people were ecstatic.
With just 5:39 remaining in the second period, the Flyers were in the driver’s seat to victory.
Instead, they let the Rangers sit behind the wheel for the last 35 minutes en route to a 3-2 New York victory.
Mike Rupp scored his second goal of the season just 30 seconds after Giroux’s pretty tally which brought New York within a goal after two periods. A little under three minutes into the third period, Rupp doubled his season goal total and tied the game at 2-2.