Flyers Rebound with Win Over Rangers
For the last two games, the Flyers had to press on without their captain due to his presence on the NHL's COVID list. Claude Giroux made his return to the ice on Tuesday for practice and to the lineup on Wednesday. He looked as motivated as ever.
Giroux had three assists as the Flyers struck for two goals in the first and second periods, holding off the Rangers in a 4-3 win on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers came out controlling the play early. That led to an early power play, and shortly after it expired, the Flyers were able to strike.
A point blast by Erik Gustafsson beat Igor Shesterkin to make it 1-0. It was Gustafsson's first goal as a Flyer.
Less than two minutes later, the Rangers got a power play and made quick work of it. Just four seconds into the man-advantage, a shot by Mika Zibanejad left a big rebound for Chris Kreider, who was right there to put it home to tie the game at one at 9:32.
The Flyers were back on the power play late in the period and struck to go back on top. Gustafsson fired another shot that went wide, but bounced back out to Shayne Gostisbehere, who fired it in to make it 2-1 with 4:29 to go in the period.
The Flyers killed off another penalty before the period came to a close. Through 20 minutes, the Flyers had a 15-9 lead in shots.
Early in the second, the Flyers were back on the power play and struck again. Off an entry into the zone, Joel Farabee threaded the needle on a beautiful back-door pass to James van Riemsdyk for his ninth goal of the season at 4:05.
Moments after the goal, the Flyers were back on the power play and ultimately got a 5-on-3 for 1:38. While they had a number of chances, several passes and shots were blocked by the Rangers and they were able to kill it off.
Less than a minute after killing off the 5-on-3, the Rangers were back on the power play and used it to get back on the board. Ryan Strome made a cross-ice pass to Zibanejad for a one-timer that connected as a back-door pass at the skates of Kreider. Kreider tapped it in to cut the Flyers lead back to one with his second of the night and seventh of the season.
As the period moved to the later stages, the Flyers capitalized off a rush. Phil Myers carried the puck into the zone and got it to Giroux on the right wing. Giroux made a pass to the middle of the ice that made its way to Kevin Hayes, who fired a shot upstairs top shelf over Shesterkin to make it 4-2.
Through two periods, the Flyers had a 29-19 lead in shots.
Early in the third, the Rangers started to apply pressure and got the payoff from a familiar source. In front of the net, Kreider was left uncovered and was able to knock in another rebound chance to complete the hat trick and cut the Flyers lead to one.
The Flyers killed off a penalty midway through the period to preserve the lead, then failed to put the game away on a power play of their own with just under six minutes to play.
The Flyers held off the push in the closing moments to secure the win. Brian Elliott finished with 24 saves on 27 shots in the win. Shesterkin had 35 saves on 39 shots in the loss.
In addition to Giroux's three-assist game, Gustafsson and Gostisbehere each had a goal and an assist.
The Flyers hit the road for the next five games, starting with a weekend back-to-back against the Buffalo Sabres. Their next game is on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
- PHI Erik Gustafsson (1) (Shayne Gostisbehere, Claude Giroux) 7:48
- NYR Chris Kreider (6) PP (Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox) 9:32
- PHI Gostisbehere (1) PP (Gustafsson, Giroux) 15:31
- PHI James van Riemsdyk (9) PP (Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier) 4:05
- NYR Kreider (7) PP (Zibanejad, Ryan Strome) 8:03
- PHI Kevin Hayes (7) (Giroux, Phil Myers) 14:37
- NYR Kreider (8) (Ryan Lindgren, Colin Blackwell) 3:27
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.