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Game of the Week: Rangers build lead to 4-0 against flat Flyers after two

Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello

New York Rangers’ Derek Stepan, left, celebrates with teammate Mats Zuccarello (36), of Norway, after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, in Washington. The Rangers won 6-0. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


It’s probably a bit unfair to say that a lack of desire is what has been plaguing the Philadelphia Flyers since the All-Star Game, but there should be little doubt that the New York Rangers are playing much harder in this game. After a Ryan Callahan-powered 2-0 first period, the desperate Blueshirts doubled their lead to 4-0 after two periods.

Mats Zuccarello cashed in on a 2-on-1 during a raucous 4-on-4 between the two teams to give the Rangers a three-goal lead and then Callahan forced a horrendous Kris Versteeg turnover to score for the third time. This marks the first hat trick of Callahan’s career.

The Flyers pulled Brian Boucher in favor of Sergei Bobrovsky, but it’s hard to lay all the blame on Boucher for a 4-0 deficit even if he allowed those goals on just 18 shots. That’s because Philly left their veteran goalie on an island during many instances in this game, as the Flyers are producing minimal resistance to a hungry Rangers team.

This game isn’t over, but if Philadelphia keeps playing the way they have been, it will be a leisurely third for Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. We’ll see if the Flyers can make a game of this.