PHILADELPHIA - Not only are the Rangers having trouble scoring in their season-opening swoon, they can't catch a break.
With the Flyers leading by a goal early in the third period last night, the Rangers' J.T. Miller crashed the net. Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason poked the puck out to the right and it glanced off Miller's skate and in, apparently tying the score 5:36 into the period. But after a video review, the goal was waved off as it was ruled that Miller intentionally kicked the puck over the line.
That was as close as the Rangers would come to tying the score in a 2-1 loss.
"It caught me off guard more than anything," Miller said. "I thought it was a good goal from some of the angles. I could see where maybe they saw it was a kicking motion. I think it was more of my momentum going forward."
Rangers rookie Cam Talbot, stepping in for the injured Henrik Lundqvist, played very well in his NHL debut, stopping 25 shots, including a terrific save on Brayden Schenn on a two-on-one with 7:08 left.
But it wasn't quite enough, and the Rangers, who have scored only 12 goals, dropped to 2-6. They'll play their ninth straight road game in Detroit Saturday night. The Flyers, who had lost four straight and had been off all week, are 2-7.
Talbot, who stopped 10 of 12 shots against the Flyers in a preseason game, turned away nine of 10 in the first period, with the lone goal coming after an uncontested giveaway by Derick Brassard, who was playing the right point on the power play. Matt Read burst down the left side as a two-on-one developed. He fired five-hole and Talbot could only get a piece of it as the Flyers took a 1-0 lead at 9:07.
"I tried to play the best I could positionally and make them try to beat me with a good shot," Talbot said. "I thought I did that for the most part."
After Zac Rinaldo tried to run Ryan McDonagh but missed, Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves with Rinaldo. That might have sparked the Rangers, who had been chasing the puck the entire period. With 1:04 left, Brad Richards wristed a sharp-angle shot from the left boards that might have hit defenseman Braydon Coburn's leg and eluded Mason short side. It was Richards' fifth goal and the first for the Rangers in 105:05.
"We didn't deflate this time," Richards said. "But it's tough to win scoring one goal, zero goals. Right now we're in a bit of a bind, but if we keep building on our effort level, getting to pucks and holding on to pucks in the offensive zone, I think things will start to come."
Early in the third, the Rangers, at even strength, failed to clear the zone, and with Max Talbot screening in front, Coburn's low slapper found the net inside the near post for the 2-1 lead at 3:33. Anton Stralman and Wayne Simmonds were battling in front when the puck went in. "I looked one way, it went the other. I saw it at the last second, but it was a little too late," Talbot said. "It wasn't the outcome I was looking for, but I thought I played pretty well and have some confidence going forward."
"[Talbot] gave us a chance to win, made the saves he had to make," Alain Vigneault said. "Hopefully the next time we'll be able to get him more goals."