By Jenny Masters
The Flyers were thoroughly embarrassed last night in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
The question is:
Will this supposedly well-run franchise ever be straight with their fans and the lame-ass Philly fan-boy media about plans to improve?
Mika Zibanejad had three goals and three assists in New York’s seven-goal second period, and the Rangers beat the Flyers 9-0 in Madison Square Garden.
Pavel Buchnevich had two goals and two assists — all in the second period — and Brendan Lemieux, Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba and Filip Chytil also scored in the Rangers’ most decisive victory since beating New Jersey 9-0 on March 31, 1986. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 26 shots for his sixth career shutout.
Brian Elliott started in goal for the Flyers and allowed five goals on 13 shots before being replaced midway through the second period as the Flyers lost for the third time in four games. Carter Hart finished with 12 saves.
“It was embarrassing to be playing on that ice tonight the way we played,” Flyers’ captain Claude Giroux said. “We didn’t help our goalies at all. There’s not a lot of words to say. We know we got to wake up.”
Zibanejad scored three consecutive goals in a 10:10 span of the second for his fifth career hat trick. The Swedish center also topped 400 career points.
Zibanejad converted a short-handed breakaway at 8:27 on the first shot Hart saw in relief of Elliott. Panarin found Zibanejad dashing through the offensive zone on the power play before Zibanejad lifted the puck over Hart’s glove with 5:31 left in the period. Zibanejad completed the natural hat trick with an even-strength goal at with 1:23 remaining to make it 8-0.
Chytil capped the scoring with his fourth of the season a minute later.
“It was surreal, Georgiev said. “It felt like we were just doing all the right things. We did not play some crazy open hockey. We just made sure to wait for their mistakes. The guys played unreal today. It was something special.”
Both of Buchnevich’s goals came early in the second to extend the Rangers’ lead to 4-0 and key the big period. The Russian winger fired a shot from the slot after Zibanejad created a turnover behind the Flyers net at 1:38. Two minutes later, Buchnevich was the beneficiary of an odd bounce off Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers.
Myers and his defensive partner Travis Sanheim were on the ice for the Rangers’ first five goals of the contest.
“Nothing about this game was any good,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “We are going to throw it out, get ready for the next one.”
Lemieux opened the scoring at 7:05 of the first. Adam Fox, back after a one-game absence due to COVID-19 protocol, made a nifty move at the blue line and delivered a cross-ice pass to set up Lemieux.
Panarin doubled the Rangers’ first-period advantage with his second goal in two games. Ryan Strome picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and fed Panarin at 14:47.
Trouba netted his first of the season at 3:38 of the second to make it 3-0.