Rookie Mistake Powers Rangers To Victory

Richards

A fired up Brad Richards collected three points in the New York Rangers’ Game 1 victory vs Philly.

by Drew Sarver

Winger Jason Akeson was recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers for the final game of the 2012-2013 season. The Flyers repeated the move this season as well and kept him on the roster for their opening round playoff series with the New York Rangers.

The 23-year old Ontario native learned a hard lesson in the Rangers 4-1, Game 1 victory. With the scored tied one apiece in the third period, Akeson was careless with his stick and picked up a four-minute minor penalty after he clipped the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin in the mouth. The Rangers took advantage of their good fortunte and took complete control of the game.

Flyers’ defenseman Andrew McDonald and Rangers’ forward Matt Zuccarello scored in the first period, but nothing got past Ray Emery or Henrik Lundqvist until the third period. Emery was under tremendous pressure with starter Steve Mason out and his teammates less than stellar performance through the first two periods. Emery’s play kept Philly in the game despite a Rangers 23-14 shots on goal advantage through the first forty minutes of action.

Things only got worse when Akeson made his rookie mistake. Rick Nashs’s backhand pass from behind Philly’s end line ricocheted off Martin St. Louis to Brad Richards. The winger blasted a one-timer past Emery from the right circle.  Crisp passing led to the Rangers’ second power play goal just 47  seconds later.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh sent the puck to St. Louis near the right post. St. Louis, in turn, moved the puck quickly to Richards at the right point.  With everyone expecting a shot, Richards made a hard pass to Derek Stepan, who was all alone at the left post. The University of Wisconsin banged the biscuit home for a 3-1 Rangers’ lead.

The Rangers ended up with a 13-1 shots on goal advantage in the final period, with Hagelin the last to light the lamp for New York late in third period.

Earlier Friday evening, the Flyers announced that Mason may be ready to go for Game 2 on Sunday after he practiced earlier in the day.

Drew Sarver is the founder, publisher, managing editor, and a contributor for Designated For Assignment. He can be followed on twitter at @mypinstripes and @d4assignment or contacted by email at dsarver@d4assignment.com.

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