Flyers 5, Rangers 0: We’re in!

Updated: April 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm by Matt Brauckmann

The roller coaster ride that the Philadelphia Flyers had created over the past month has finally come to rest just where all of us had hoped. The Flyers came out today and took care of business with a statement win against a bad team, clinching them a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

FIRST PERIOD

The Flyers came into this game needing to win. Slow starts have been something that have plagued them all season, especially against bad teams, but they came out this afternoon looking ready to play and ready to grab two points.

The Flyers would draw a penalty early on in the first period and generate some great offense on the delayed call. That finally paid off when Sean Couturier shot a puck off of Ivan Provorov’s chest which ended up behind Lundqvist to give the Flyers an early lead.

From that point on it was smooth sailing for the Flyers. They would finish the first period outshooting the Rangers 13-7 and looking very good in the process.

SECOND PERIOD

The true test for the Flyers came in the second period. It was essentially a crossroads for them, meaning they could falter this lead or push their foot down on the gas and bury a team that hasn’t been good all season.

The Flyers chose the latter of those two options.

The team generated some good scoring chances early on, and Scott Laughton’s gritty work sent Matt Belesky to the box and gave the Flyers a power play early on in the period. The Flyers got themselves a few chances on that power play but ultimately failed to find the back of the net and the score remained 1-0.

Then, about 12 minutes into the period, Steven Fogarty hi-sticked Matt Read, giving the Flyers their second power play of the game.

They wasted no time on this power play as Claude Giroux fired one towards Lundqvist that snuck through, giving the Flyers a two goal cushoin.

That point was Claude Giroux’s 100th point on the season and his 32nd goal this season, marking the first time a Flyer has reached 100 points since Eric Lindros in 1995-96.

The Flyers weren’t done there.

About five minutes later the Flyers were once again pressing in the Rangers zone when Michael Raffl found himself all alone in front of Lundqvist. He spun around to take the shot, beating the Ranger goalie to give the Flyers a three-goal lead.

That marked Raffl’s second goal in as many games since being moved up to the first line.

The Flyers would lose the ensuing faceoff but Michael Raffl intercepted a pass and found Claude Giroux who sniped another one home to put the Flyers up 4-0 and give them their second goal in just 6 seconds.

That sent Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy and chants of “MVP” rained down upon the Captain.

The Flyers would finish the second period scoring 3 goals and outshooting the Rangers by an 18-5 margin.

THIRD PERIOD

Although the Flyers had a 4 goal lead to work with, I was very curious to see if the Flyers would sit back in the third or try to keep their foot on the gas and bury the Rangers even more.

The Flyers came right back out at the beginning of the third and created some great offensive chances again. That pretty much solidified that they weren’t going to let the Rangers even think about creeping back into this game.

Who else would seal the deal in this one, but the guy who’s been there all-season to pick this team up. Claude Giroux.

That was the first regular-season hattrick for Claude Giroux in his career and his 34th goal on the season.

The Flyers would go on to outshoot the Rangers 9-5 in the third period and 40-17 in the game.

QUICK HITTERS

Although the Flyers are in the playoffs, they will certainly be scoreboard watching tonight. As of the end of this game, they sit in third place in the Metropolitan division. If New Jersey and Columbus go on to win tonight, the Flyers will get the second wild-card position and play the winner of the Atlantic Division. If Columbus and New Jersey lose both their games then the Flyers would play the Penguins in the first round. Any other combination of points would likely see the Flyers finish in the first wild-card spot, setting a date for them to play Washington in the first round.

This was a huge game for the Flyers because they overcame several demons that were plaguing them as of late. They came out flying against a team that was far below them in the standings and has just been terrible as of late, and they came out in the third period and buried the Rangers and didn’t even let them see the light of day in this game. Those have been problems that have cost the Flyers multiple games this season. If they can keep on the strategy of playing a full 60-minute game, this team could make some noise in the playoffs.

Most valuable player is about the only words I can use to describe Claude Giroux at this point. In a must-win game for the Flyers, he came out and was a plus-4 with a hattrick. The Flyers captain and best player came out and made sure this team would get themselves into the playoffs. That is an MVP caliber performance. Giroux will finish the regular season with career highs in goals (34), assists (68), +/- (+28), and points (102).

NEXT GAME

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Wednesday, April 11th. Keep it right with Flyers Nation for all your previews, game recaps, and insights as the Flyers take on their pursuit of the Cup.

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