NHL 20 Simulation: Mika Zibanejad snaps Flyers streak with overtime winner

Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mika Zibanejad grabbed the overtime winner as the Flyers win streak was snapped at four games.

The Flyers had a few days to celebrate a big win over Pittsburgh before heading out for their final road game.

With Brian Elliott’s sharp effort on Sunday and the Predators game tomorrow, we decided to give him this game against the Rangers. And with Nate Thompson getting a clean bill of health, he checked back into the lineup.

The Flyers had the jump early in this one. Claude Giroux had a prime scoring chance but sent the backhander wide of the net. He had Alexandar Georgiev leaning the other way. It wasn’t the only early chance the team had.

A large majority of the first half of the period was spent in the offensive zone for the Flyers. They were quick to jump on pucks and use the body whenever the Rangers had possession.

New York’s first real chance came midway through the period. Anthony DeAngelo snuck in front and sent a shot that rang off the outside of the post.

Despite controlling most of the play, the Flyers gave up the first goal of the game. Some quick passing between Julien Gauthier, Brett Howden and Steven Fogarty gave the Rangers the lead. Elliott was squared up to the shot, but Fogarty found space between the pad and blocker.

And that’s how the period would come to an end. Despite having the better chances, the Flyers were down by one after one period.

Giroux once against had a few golden opportunities, this time in the second. He fired a one-timer off the post. Georgiev then snared another one-timer with the glove.

Since taking the lead, the Rangers began to take over control of the game. Elliott had to be sharp in net to keep the deficit to just one goal. The Rangers were a post away from taking a two goal lead. Brendan Lemieux had Elliott beat, but caught the right post.

Ivan Provorov made no mistake in tying this one late in the second. After Sean Couturier won the faceoff, the puck came back to Provorov. Settling it down, he pulled the stick back and fired the slap shot past Georgiev. The Rangers goaltender had no chance.

The Flyers took a penalty almost immediately after scoring the tying goal. Couturier went off for tripping. They went down two-man shortly after, giving the Rangers a golden chance to grab the lead going into intermission. The penalty kill unit shut them down, keeping the score tied going into the third.

Still on the heels of the second penalty, the Flyers were able to kill off the rest to start the third. Elliott came up clutch again as Pavel Buchnevich found himself alone at the front of the net and deflected the pass. Elliott just got the toe of his skate on it.

Michael Raffl was called for tripping a bit over midway through the third. The Flyers didn’t give up much, controlling the puck for most of the penalty kill.

Buchnevich had the game on his stick as he came in on a breakaway with under ten seconds to go. He wasn’t even able to put the puck on net, sending this one to overtime. And thank goodness for the Flyers as New York had almost completely taken over.

And as most teams have seen happen to them, Mika Zibanejad ended this game for the Rangers. Provorov couldn’t deflect the puck away from Zibanejad to start the play. He was able to get the pass off to Jacob Trouba sending it right back. Provorov once again couldn’t steal the puck as Zibanejad fired it past just past the skate of Elliott.

Missed chances were the Flyers undoing in this one.

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The Flyers will return back home right after this one. They’ll see the Nashville Predators tomorrow before finishing the season on the road in Buffalo.