It is not every day that one of the Rangers comes down with mumps and the rest of the team has to get shots to prevent an outbreak. But there's a first time for everything.
For instance, yesterday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, there was Jesper Fast's first NHL goal and J.T. Miller's first goal of the season (each player assisted on the other's score). That helped build a 5-2 win over the Flyers, which definitely was not a first.
The Rangers have beaten their sagging rival three times in November, twice in a 24-hour span, and 10 times in a row at the Garden. Yesterday was a little different in that the Rangers trailed for a while. But Fast's goal tied it at 2 in the second period and Derick Brassard put them ahead with his second of the game at 3:06 of the third before Miller's goal and Lee Stempniak's empty-netter, the team's first of the season.
All told, a visit from the Flyers again was a shot in the arm.
"These always seem to be entertaining games," said Derek Stepan, one of 10 Rangers to record a point.
Earlier, the Rangers were entertaining the subject of health, what with the announcement that Tanner Glass has mumps and will be isolated from the team until Monday night, Alain Vigneault said. Team spokesman John Rosasco said the rest of the players will receive immunization "booster shots."
"We have good doctors," Stepan said. "We've just got to do our best to sanitize everything we can. Tonight we had our own water bottles and stuff like that. We've got to do our best to contain it. No one really knows how it happens, but once it starts, you've got to do your best and quarantine the guys who are sick."
Once the game started, the shots that mattered were not inoculations but the type that Brassard put in on a power play at 2:50 of the first period.
Unlike the previous two games against Philadelphia, though, the Flyers actually scored. Having been shut out twice this month by Cam Talbot, they beat Henrik Lundqvist twice -- Nicklas Grossman at even strength at 13:46 of the first period and Jakub Voracek on a power play at 8:45 of the second.
Less than three minutes later, Fast took a feed from Kevin Klein, kept moving left to right and drilled a shot to the top left corner over Ray Emery. Miller, Fast's linemate in a makeshift lineup and a frequent teammate in Hartford, assisted on the play and then fished the puck out of the net.
"I'm probably going to keep it for a good memory," said Fast, a 22-year-old from Sweden who has split the season between the minors and the NHL. "I'll put it where all my other pucks are. Of course, I'm not going to score every game, but hopefully it doesn't have to take that long a time before the next one."
Said Brassard, "I think that was the key moment . . . After Jesper scored, [for] the next seven minutes, I don't think they came out of their end."
In contrast, Brassard rolled up ice and completed a three-on-two rush for the go-ahead goal. And when Miller -- a call-up from Hartford because Chris Kreider had a death in the family -- made a sparkling move and scored on a wraparound at 9:54 of the third, it was the Flyers who weren't feeling so good. "It's mental. I truly believe that," Flyers coach Craig Berube said.
The Rangers felt fine, mentally and physically. Miller, asked if he ever has had mumps, said, "I don't want to jinx it."