The Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center to extend their winning streak to five.
Looking for their fifth-straight win following a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers kicked off a home-and-home series by playing host to the New York Rangers on home ice. The Flyers were also hoping to take a 2-0 season series lead over their Metropolitan Division rivals, as they beat the Rangers earlier this year by a score of 5-1 back on Christmas Eve Eve. Carter Hart received the start in net from Head Coach Alain Vigneault and opposed Alexandar Georgiev on the other end of the ice.
New York got off to a great start, scoring under three minutes in to put Philadelphia in an early 1-0 hole. Artemi Panarin sprung Jesper Fast for a breakaway, and the seven-year Ranger put an honestly impressive one-handed deflection on his own rebound past Hart for his 12th goal of the season. The young netminder probably would’ve wanted to glove that puck if he had another chance to save the initial wrister, as it didn’t carry a whole lot of velocity nor have great location coming off of Fast’s stick. Philly put pressure on Georgiev through the remainder of the frame and would eventually find the equalizer thanks to Sean Couturier, who cashed in on an excellent pass from Jakub Voracek in front of the crease to tie the game at one through 20. Coots became the third Flyer to score 20 goals in 2019-20 with this tally, marking the third-straight year he’s reached that scoring feat.
After both sides failed to break the tie through the early goings of the second, James van Riemsdyk came through with his 19th goal of the year over halfway through the stanza to put the Flyers ahead, 2-1. Everyone’s favorite pigeon took advantage of a juicy rebound left by Georgiev following a shot from Nicolas Aube-Kubel, taking the puck from the left circle and burying it into the twine. Claude Giroux followed it up with a goal of his own just minutes later, giving his team a two-goal edge heading into the final period of regulation.
The Flyers Captain continued to play well in the third, netting his second tally of the night on the power-play in the beginning stages of the frame to put Philadelphia even further ahead, 4-1. Voracek and Travis Konecny got the assists on Giroux’s man-advantage goal, kick-starting a two-game point streak for Philly’s one-time All-Star. Philadelphia would shut the door from there on out, securing a 5-2 win over New York courtesy of a late(r) period goal from Kevin Hayes and a garbage-time tally from Brett Howden. Philadelphia shrugged off a poor opening ten minutes of hockey and never looked back, scoring four-straight goals after the Rangers’ game-opener en route to their fifth consecutive victory.
The Flyers are now 37-20-7 on the season. Next game is Sunday against the Rangers to finish out this home-and-home tilt.