Flyers Defeat Rangers 3-2
Don't question the loyalty of Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk after his performance on the road Thursday night for the Flyers. Scoring 2 goals, including one off of his face, to put the Flyers on their way to beating division rival New York. JVR courageously came back out on the ice after scoring his first goal off his face and battled to get the Flyers a tough win on the road. The win for the Flyers put a big dent in the Rangers chances of sneaking into the top 4 in the East division and their hopes of getting into the playoffs.
The Flyers went into the contest after having three days off for the first time in over two months since their season was paused due to a COVID breakout in the team, and it showed. The Flyers looked well rested and played much harder on defense than shown in the past. New York still jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a goal that came from Brendan Smith halfway through the first period. The Flyers battled back through the intermission and got the game tying goal with 5 minutes left in the second period when JVR took a snap shot from Travis Konecny to the face that deflected into the net on the power play. Brian Elliott made a lot of great saves to keep the Flyers only down 1-0 through the first two periods, Elliott finished with 33 saves and a save percentage of .943.
With the game tied going to the third, the Rangers needed a win much more than the Flyers, since their playoff hopes are still alive. The Flyers and Elliott held off the attack of the Rangers and were able to generate some offense on their own. Halfway through the third, the Flyers got the lead off a power play goal from JVR again. JVR went right back to his favorite spot on the ice, right in front of goal, with no fear or regard for getting hit in the face again, and deflected a shot from Shayne Gostisbehere into the back of the net. The Flyers wanted more than a 2-1 lead, however, as captain Claude Giroux set up Jakub Voracek on a 2-1 opportunity to double the Flyers lead to 3-1 with 6 minutes left in the period. On an empty net, the Rangers got one back off of a slap shot from the point by Artemi Panarin but were unable to find the tying goal and the Flyers finished the game victorious.
The three stars of the game for the Flyers were Elliott, who had 33 saves, JVR with his 2 goals, and Ivan Provorov who had 2 assists. It was a great team effort in all phases of the game for the Flyers, and they earned 2 points. The Flyers remain in 6th place in the East after the game, still behind the Rangers. The Rangers remain in 5th and fall farther behind Boston for the last playoff spot. It will be hard for anyone to catch the Bruins, as they have now won 6 straight after beating the Sabres on Thursday. The Flyers and Rangers play their 8th and final game between the two on Friday night.