PHILADELPHIA — If Henrik Lundqvist hadn’t made a glove save on Jakub Voracek’s breakaway after coming off the bench in the first period during a teammate’s match penalty, the goal wouldn’t have counted because the officials erred.
The controversy arose after Wayne Simmonds received a match penalty and was ejected at 10:36 for decking Ryan McDonagh with a sucker punch, a blow that stunned the Rangers captain, who left the game for precautionary reasons.
“When it’s a match penalty, the referees are supposed to automatically tell the coach to put somebody in [the penalty box], which they forgot,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said after the game. In the explanation, according to Vigneault, “they said if he [Voracek] scored on that play, it would have been a disallowed goal. All I know is they should have had somebody in the box and they didn’t.”
The Flyers were not assessed a too-many-men on the ice penalty, which also was confusing to Vigneault and team officials watching from upstairs.
“In the explanation to me,” Vigneault said, “it was the referees’ fault, otherwise it would have been a penalty.”
PK unit tries to improve
The Rangers, having killed the final two Wild power plays in Thursday’s game, were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill Saturday. The Rangers’ PK unit and power play both ranked in the bottom five in the NHL entering Saturday’s games.
At 12:49 of the second, a series of cross-checks, slashes and interference by both sides in the Rangers zone drew no calls from referees Kelly Sutherland and Dave Lewis, until Matt Read goaded Oscar Lindberg into dropping the gloves, resulting in a Flyers power play when Lindberg also received a cross-checking minor.
Keith Yandle led the Rangers with 13 shot attempts (shots, blocks and misses) . . . Three Rangers defensemen beside Yandle played more than 24 minutes (Dan Boyle, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi). Kevin Klein, playing with a fractured thumb, played 19:23 . . . Girardi blocked a game-high six shots.