NEW YORK — Five takeaways from the Flyers’ 5-1 loss Tuesday night to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden:
The Goulbourne factor
The Flyers’ defensive coverage was sloppy. Their effort, except for the first 15 minutes, was not what they had shown in their previous four games, all wins.
“We weren’t engaged in this game enough for a big game, for sure,” coach Dave Hakstol said.
Though he didn’t get a lot of ice time, scrappy winger Tyrell Goulbourne had energized the lineup in the previous three games, but was a healthy scratch on Tuesday.
Connect the dots.
Manning’s rough night
Defenseman Brandon Manning struggled, as the Rangers got behind him on two of their breakaway goals. Don’t be surprised if rookie Travis Sanheim returns to the lineup Thursday against visiting Toronto.
Power play struggles
The Flyers’ power play has been superb lately, going 7 for 14 during their four-game winning streak. On Tuesday, however, the Flyers did too much passing on the power play and were 0 for 3, managing a total of three shots in those six minutes.
Lundqvist rarely tested
The defensive breakdowns paved the way for the loss, but the Flyers had very little attack time after the first 15 minutes. They finished with just 26 shots, and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist barely had to work up a sweat.
Since Dec. 5, the Rangers had been allowing 37.3 shots per game and averaging just 2.38 goals per contest.
“I can’t remember the last time we were sitting here talking about playing a complete game,” said Rangers left winger Rick Nash, who had two goals to end a 12-game scoring drought.
Needed: A momentum changer
It was puzzling that Hakstol didn’t pull goalie Brian Elliott after the Rangers made it 4-1 midway through the second period.
Hakstol said he didn’t yank the goalie because he thought the team had played poorly in front of him and he didn’t want Elliott to get the blame.
Fair enough. But something needed to be done to change the momentum. If not a goalie change, a timeout after the Rangers’ fourth goal might have helped the Flyers regroup.