December games don't normally carry a playoff atmosphere, but with a lively crowd and two former Rangers partaking in the game for the Orange and Black, this one meant a little more.

Alain Vigneault was facing the last team he coached before taking the Flyers job and Kevin Hayes was facing his former team. Hayes struck for a pair of goals in the third period, including the game-winner as the Flyers went into the holiday break with their fourth straight win, defeating the Rangers, 5-1, on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.

The first period was an entertaining affair that starred both goaltenders and featured timely defense. Neither team scored despite multiple opportunities. The Flyers ended the first with a 12-8 lead in shots.

In the second, the Flyers had a power play chance to take the lead and instead allowed the Rangers to finally cash in on one of their chances. Ivan Provorov turned the puck over at the blue line, leading to an odd-man rush the other way. Greg McKegg picked up the trailer Brady Skjei on the rush and his shot was stopped by Carter Hart and then hit the post. Skjei was able to grab the rebound and center for Jesper Fast for the one-timer to beat Hart and give the Rangers the lead.

The Flyers missed out on more opportunities on the power play in the rest of the second, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers defense continued to lock down the offensive zone.

Finally, in the closing seconds of the period, the Flyers managed to find the equalizer. Travis Sanheim got control in the high slot and fired a shot that deflected off a Ranger, hit the stick of Lundqvist and went in to tie the game with 1.7 seconds remaining in the period.

Despite being outshot, 14-7, in the middle period, the Flyers managed to enter the third period in a tie game. Shots through two periods were 22-19 Rangers.

The Rangers came out with the better of the chances early in the third, but the Flyers were able to withstand. The Flyers got an opportunity of their own and it was a former Ranger helping give the Flyers the lead.

A counter rush was started by James van Riemsdyk entering the offensive zone and he gave a pass across to Joel Farabee. Farabee then put a cross-ice feed on the tape to Hayes and the former Ranger lifted a shot high over the shoulder of Lundqvist to put the Flyers in front at 7:31 of the third.

Late in the third, the Flyers managed to get some insurance to put the game away. After Sean Couturier was stopped on a breakaway, he centered to Sanheim with a wide-open net to make it 3-1 with his second of the game.

Just over a minute later, van Riemsdyk hit a cutting Hayes and he tucked it by Lundqvist for his second goal of the game to make it 4-1. On a power play in the final minute, Nicolas Aube-Kubel fired from the slot to score his first NHL goal and make it 5-1.

Hart finished the game with 34 saves on 35 shots. Lundqvist stopped 25 of 30 in the loss.

Sanheim had a three-point night. Hayes and van Riemsdyk each had multi-point games.

The Flyers now head into the holiday break and will return for a trip to the West coast that gets underway on Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks at 10:30 p.m.

Box Score


Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • No Scoring

2nd Period

  • NYR Jesper Fast (6) SH (Brady Skjei, Greg McKegg) 6:44
  • PHI Travis Sanheim (3) (Justin Braun, Travis Konecny) 19:58

3rd Period

  • PHI Kevin Hayes (10) (Joel Farabee, James van Riemsdyk) 7:31
  • PHI Sanheim (4) (Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux) 15:49
  • PHI Hayes (11) (van Riemsdyk, Braun) 16:50
  • PHI Nicolas Aube-Kubel (1) (Sanheim, Jake Voracek) 19:02

Game Statistics

Power Plays0/41/6
Faceoff %49.3%50.7%
Blocked Shots1010
Penalty Minutes128

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.


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