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November 28, 2015

Flyers 3, Rangers 0: Simmonds spectacular at MSG

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While the rest of the country was watching college football (maybe including you), the Philadelphia Flyers (9-10-5) went into Madison Square Garden and thoroughly dominated the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers (16-6-2), 3-0. How about that?

In a building that has been a house of horrors in recent years for the Orange and Black, this was certainly a welcome surprise. Combined with yesterday’s overtime victory against the Nashville Predators, the Flyers have a couple of wins against legitimately good teams on Thanksgiving weekend. Here’s what I saw:

•    Wayne Simmonds got the empty netter to ice the game, and he sure deserved it. The Wayne Train rumbled right into Penn Station, walked up a couple of floors to MSG, and was a man possessed.

•    Simmonds finished with two goals and an assist, the best of which came off an awesome pass by Matt Read (via @myregularface):

•    A look at the possession numbers shows two groups in particular stood out: 1. The second line of Simmonds, Read, and Sean Couturier (who scored his first goal in 13 games) 2. Evgeny Medvedev and Shayne Gostisbehere.

•    Nick Schultz took a brutal hit from Dylan McIlrath, and he left the game with an “upper-body injury.”  Luke Schenn then came to his defense, which left the Flyers with four defensemen for a little while. They were forced to roll five on the blue line for the rest of the game, and Michael Del Zotto logged 29:20 of ice time. Here is the hit on Schultz:

•    The possession numbers indicate exactly what we saw out on the ice: After the Rangers dominated long portions of the first period, the Flyers turned that around in a big way for the final 40 minutes. They earned these two points.

•    Not a ton of work for Steve Mason (especially after the first period), but he stopped all 24 Rangers shots.

Up next

The Flyers look to make it three wins in a row on Tuesday in Ottawa against the Senators (12-5-5), where they were embarrassed just last weekend.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann