In the second game of a home back-to-back set, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon.
The scorching hot Mika Zibanejad (11th goal of the season, 7th against the Flyers) opened the scoring with a first-period power play goal. In the second period, Nolan Patrick (PPG, 4th) tipped home a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot to knot the game.
With 4:27 remaining in the third period, defenseman Samuel Morin (1st NHL goal) blasted a shot that put the Flyers ahead. After missing the better part of the last three seasons due to core muscle issues and then two separate right ACL tears, the moment was especially sweet.
Brian Elliott earned the win in goal. The veteran goalie stopped 24 of 25 shots. Igor Sheshterkin played very well in net for the Rangers in a losing cause, and made 35 saves on 37 shots.
The Flyers went 1-for-3 on the power play. They were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Sam Morin was forced to stay on the ice for a seeming eternity due to the Flyers getting hemmed in and then taking two icings in the third period. His next shift lasted just eight seconds, and he made it count. The hulking defenseman's blast from the point through some traffic found the back of the net at 15:33 of the third period to give the Flyers the lead. Moments after play resumed, Elliott stopped a point-blank chance from the deadly Zibanejad.
1) The Flyers' struggling penalty kill paid the price for an unnecessary Travis Konecny penalty. At 10:54 of the first period, a wide open Zibanejad had a slam dunk at the post as Phil Myers was focused on Ryan Strome. The assists went to Adam Fox and Strome. Philadelphia has been a fragile team after giving up a goal, but they responded pretty well in the shifts following this goal.
2) Apart from the PK breakdown, the Flyers played a strong first period. They did a good job at getting up ice, getting a forecheck going, creating some Rangers' turnovers and putting pucks on the net (to the tune of a 17-8 shot edge). The Flyers, however, were lucky to escape down one goal after a communication breakdown behind the net in the waning seconds.
3) After some dicey early moments on the first shift of the second period, the Flyers settled in. Through two periods, the Flyers held a 65.5 percent team Corsi at 5-on-5. and an overall 29-17 shot on goal advantage. Special teams were another story. The Flyers were fortunate not to be scored on during an early second period PK with Michael Raffl in the box for tripping. Philly did a better job during a late-period Phil Myers roughing minor.
4) Konecny, who played a feisty game all afternoon, could not get a call in his favor even after Brendan Smith bloodied his lip in a scrum around the Rangers' net. However, in quick succession the Flyers got 5-on-4 and 5-on-3 (for 1:17) man advantages. The two-man edge did not go well and the remaining 5-on-4 time was in danger of expiring; that is, until Gostibehere kept a puck in the attack zone, moved to his left and fired a deflectable shot at the net. Patrick tipped home to tie the game at 1-1 at the 12:52 mark of the second period. It was Patrick's first power play goal since opening night, and second power point of the season. Sean Couturier got the secondary assist.
5) Sheshterkin made a great glove save on a Scott Laughton breakaway backhander in the opening half of the third period. The Patrick line was hemmed in for a long time. After a Rangers' turnover, a counter chance developed at the end. Voracek was taken off the puck but it bounced right back to him -- a good break -- but it didn't result in a goal. He went off, finally, for a change. One shift later, Laughton was forced to take a penalty to break up an Artemi Panarin scoring chance. The Flyers killed it.