PHILADELPHIA – One thing that can certainly be said for this Flyers team – bad losses don’t linger.
After an ugly defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks Thursday, the Flyers bounced back with a thrilling 4-2 win over the New York Rangers Saturday, in what arguably was a far more important game coming against a divisional foe.
Never the less, the Flyers are now 4-0-1 this season following games in which they lost by four goals or more and are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games following a loss by three goals or more.
It’s a resiliency that is indicative of the character of the Flyers and one which should help them moving forward in their pursuit of the playoffs.
The Flyers’ win moves them within a point of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division and keeps them a point ahead of the Washington Capitals for third place in the division as the Flyers and Caps prepare for a home-and-home series with the capitals beginning tomorrow in Washington.
The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Vinny Lecavalier and Sean Couturier in the first period.
Lecavalier’s goal was eventually knocked into his own net by Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman, but it was the play of Wayne Simmonds earlier that created the spacing needed for this goal.
With Rangers tough guy Dan Carcillo following Simmonds around the ice, the Flyers forward goaded Carcillo into getting out of position with a check to the shoulders that set off Carcillo’s ire. Carcillo left his spot along the wall and chased Simmonds across the ice, only to find Mark Streit sprinting in after a loose puck unguarded by a Ranger.
Carcillo chose to leave Simmonds, who suddenly became open for a shot off the pass from Streit and got it on net where Lecavalier flipped it toward Lundqvist and the rebound kicked out toward Stralman, who was tangled with Brayden Schenn. The puck hit Stralman’s stick and went into the net to give the Flyers the early lead.
Later, Matt Read mad a blue line to blue line pass to Sean Couturier and Couturier kicked the puck to himself before making a nifty move to take Lundqvist out of the play to score on a breakaway and make it 2-0.
The Rangers wouldn’t go away and clawed back to tie it on a perfectly-timed tip in goal by Chris Kreider and later on a power play goal by Derrick Brassard that Steve Mason should have stopped.
But again, the Flyers didn’t wilt, and Simmonds scored on a pass from Schenn on the power play in the third period, beating Lundqvist to the five-hole to give the Flyers the lead while Luke Schenn netted an insurance marker later off a fine play by Giroux to win a battle on the wall with Kevin Klein before setting up a shot by Hartnell that caromed to Schenn for the goal.
While Mason would definitely like the Brassard goal back, he played very well otherwise, finishing with 33 saves and improving to 24-15-15 this season.
Stay tuned for more on the game including video from the locker room as well as an analysis and statistical recap.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers