Flyers play well but can’t stop Rangers’ record-tying streak

Scott Laughton

PHILADELPHIA – Maybe they passed the measuring stick test but that was small consolation to the Flyers after a narrow loss to the red-hot New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

The Flyers held their own yet still dropped a 2-1 decision to the Blueshirts at the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia was hoping to prevent the Rangers from tying their franchise record for consecutive wins but couldn’t quite get it done. New York has now won 10 straight for the third time in its history.

The teams were tied, 1-1, in the third period when Matt Rempe managed to deflect home a Barclay Goodrow shot at 6:31 for the deciding goal.

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin picked up the win for New York.

Scott Laughton said the Flyers took away a lot of good things from this performance.

“We controlled most of the play,” he said. “Honestly, we came out hard, we finished hard and maybe a bounce here or there and it’s a tie game. Guys battled hard for each other. I take a lot of positives out of it.

“Obviously you want two points but we stuck with it.”

This was a much better effort than the 3-1 Black Friday loss to the Rangers back in November.

“You have to show them respect, some of their top guys,” Laughton said. “But not too much. I thought we did a good job coming back through the middle. (Goalie) Sam (Ersson) made some huge saves and we’re going to need him like that for the rest of the season.”

A goal by the Rangers’ Alex Lafreniere at 11:56 of the second period gave New York a 1-0 lead.

With the teams skating four aside, Lafreniere took control at the top of the slot, then fired a low shot through goaltender Samuel Ersson’s pads. The Flyers knew it would be uphill from there, given their 2-14-5 record when trailing at the second intermission.

But the Flyers quickly tied it in the third period. Scott Laughton circled behind the New York net, dove and shoveled the puck to Tyson Foerster in front for the tying goal at 2:36.

While there were no goals scored in the first period, there was plenty of action.

One sequence in particular got the crowd out of its seats. Nick Deslauriers and Rempe went at it in a non-stop punchfest. Rempe got in a couple solid rights and opened a slight cut on the Flyer tough guy’s face before Deslauriers managed to pull Rempe’s jersey almost over his head. That allowed for a couple good rights and then the Flyer left wing through his opponent to the ice.

Like Laughton, Deslauriers was upbeat about the Flyers’ effort.

“We know they’re a really good hockey team,” Deslauriers said. “We proved we could compete with them. We played well, we learned how to play those games that you want to be in. This group never gives up.”

Ersson also appreciated the support he received by his defense. It isn’t often you can hold the Rangers to just two goals.

“We definitely came up to the level we want to play at,” Ersson said. “We played our game. Obviously they are a very skilled team. We know if we do what we think we can do, we can battle any team in the league.”

Coach John Tortorella didn’t voice any complaints with the way his team played.

“We played hard,” he said. “I thought we did some really good things.”

>Crucial games

The Flyers know games like Saturday’s mean a lot, especially with the division standings so tight.

“It’s just where we’re at in the season, where we’ve put ourselves,” said Travis Sanheim. “It’s where we’ve put ourselves, up to this point. Now is the stretch run and we know these games only get tougher from here on out. Each game is important for us.”

Sanheim knew the Flyers were going to have their hands full with the Rangers.

“They’ve got a pretty deep forward group,” Sanheim said. “A lot of skill. Their defense is pretty mobile. There are reasons they are where they are, they’re playing so well.”

>Konecny out

Travis Konecny, who suffered a minor upper-body injury in Friday’s practice at the Flyers Training Center, was scratched. No word on his availability for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh. It was the first game he’s missed this season.

>Short shots

Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh starts at 3:30 p.m.

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2426 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.