Opportunistic Rangers pull away from Flyers, take 1-0 series lead

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New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin came up big for his team on Thursday. Sometimes that even means bleeding at the right time.

More: Flyers head coach Craig Berube says Jason Akeson needs to be better with his stick

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jason Akeson’s hi-stick drew blood on the Swedish speedster, nabbing a double-minor for the Rangers. The Blueshirts took advantage of that opportunity, turning a 1-1 tie into a crushing 3-1 lead in less than one minute. A (literally) wounded Hagelin poured metaphorical salt into the Flyers’ wounds by scoring a 4-1 goal, which ended up being the final score.

Here are clips for the two power-play goals:

The Rangers now have a 1-0 series lead against their heated rivals. They’ve also forced Flyers players to answer what must be an annoying question for at least a little longer, as the Rangers’ winning streak against Philly at Madison Square Garden extends to nine games (with a 35-10 cumulative score disparity).

As much as many will blame Akeson, the Flyers cannot be too happy about their efforts in the third period. Even giving some leeway for the stream of penalties Philly took, the team seemed to lose its composure and aggressiveness; the Rangers generated a 13-1 shot advantage in the final frame.

Overall, the Flyers only managed 15 shots on goal … the Rangers nearly matched that total in two different periods (14 in the first; 13 in the third).

It’s a staggering way for the Flyers to lose, as this one got away from them, yet one can definitely wonder what would have happened if that Akeson hi-stick didn’t happen or it wasn’t a double-minor. The bottom line is that it did happen and the Rangers took full advantage of that golden opportunity.

The Flyers face many questions, but fair or not, many will also wonder if the Flyers can afford to roll with Ray Emery instead of an injured Steve Mason in net. (Did you miss Flyers goalie storylines?)