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game recap

Flyers use special teams to defeat Rangers for sixth straight win

Score three times on power play, once shorthanded; Zibanejad has two goals for New York

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Couturier buries rebound for PPG

PHI@NYR: Couturier slams rebound home for PPG

Jakub Voracek is denied by Henrik Lundqvist, but Sean Couturier wires the rebound into the back of the net for a power-play goal in the 1st

  • 00:39 •

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Flyers scored four goals on special teams to extend their season-high winning streak to six games with a 5-3 victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The Flyers completed a home-and-home sweep following their 5-2 win against the Rangers in Philadelphia on Friday.

Matt Niskanen, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny each scored a power-play goal, and Michael Raffl scored shorthanded for Philadelphia (38-20-7), which trails the Washington Capitals by three points for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Rangers highlights]

 

"It was a funny game; more specialty teams than what we've seen in a long time," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Our power play was clicking incredibly well. We were on our heels a little bit in the end but were able to finish it off."

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves in his first start since allowing four goals in two periods in a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 3.

"There's no question special teams played a big part in this game," Lundqvist said. "When you haven't played in a long time, personally, you want to go out there and build a good feeling, and obviously it was pretty tough giving up three first-period goals. We took some sloppy penalties that cost us, and their power play was very good.

"I don't think I was very good; there were a couple tough situations."

Mika Zibanejad had two goals and an assist, and Artemi Panarin had two assists to extend his point streak to 13 games for New York (35-26-4), which is 9-3-0 in its past 12 games. The Rangers are four points behind the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference wild card race.

Niskanen scored on the rebound of Nicolas Aube-Kubel's shot off the left goal post to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 1:52 of the first period. 

Couturier scored from the slot for a 2-0 lead at 11:19, and Raffl scored his first shorthanded goal of the season on a backhand at 17:53 to make it 3-0.

"I think we're starting to get in that groove [on the power play]," Couturier said. "We have a lot of set plays and a lot of options that we're using right now and executing, and it's good to get our confidence back."

Derek Grant scored his first goal for the Flyers with a backhand for a 4-0 lead at 1:23 of the second period. Grant was acquired in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 24. 

Video: PHI@NYR: Grant slips backhaner past Lundqvist

"It's been good (since the trade)," Grant said. "It's always fun to jump into these rivalries in the short time here. [The Rangers] have a good team, and we played well against them these past two games, sticking together, playing fast and getting pucks deep."

Zibanejad scored on a redirection in front to get the Rangers within 4-1 at 12:04 of the second.

Konecny scored when he tipped Jakub Voracek's shot at the left post at 15:34 to give the Flyers a 5-1 lead.

Pavel Buchnevich scored a power-play goal when he tipped Tony DeAngelo's shot to make it 5-2 at 5:33 of the third period. Zibanejad scored his second power-play goal at 12:39 to get the Rangers within 5-3.

Video: PHI@NYR: Zibanejad roofs PPG for second goal of game

 

They said it

"I think any team wants to get off to a good start and put a lot of pucks to the net, create some offensive-zone time. We capitalized early on our chances and kind of cruised through it afterwards. It probably was not the best thing to do against this team. We saw them give a pretty good push back the second half, so it's probably something we can learn from." -- Flyers center Sean Couturier

"We touched on how hard a situation it is for [goalie Henrik Lundqvist]. Nobody is more sympathetic to the situation than I am, and I had three or four conversations with him this week. We want to put him in a situation to succeed, and I thought he was fine tonight; I didn't think Hank was our issue." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

 

Need to know

Couturier has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in the past 11 games. ... Voracek has seven assists in three games against the Rangers this season. ... Hart has a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage during his five-game winning streak. ... Lundqvist tied Tony Esposito for eighth in games among goalies in NHL history (886). ... Panarin has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) during his point streak, which is the longest active streak in the NHL. ... Zibanejad has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in his past 14 games. ... Flyers forward Kevin Hayes and Vigneault each received a video tribute in his return to MSG during the first period. Hayes played five seasons (2013-18) for the Rangers before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 25, 2019, and acquired by the Flyers in a trade from the Jets on June 3, 2019. Vigneault coached New York for five seasons (2013-18) before he was fired April 7, 2018. Philadelphia hired him April 15, 2019.

 

What's next

Flyers: At the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS)

Rangers: Host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Flyers ride power play in win against Rangers

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