Flyers rally three times vs. Rangers to salvage an OT point

Owen Tippett

      NEW YORK – The Flyers needed it. The Rangers wanted it. In this game, it all came down to who was still left standing at the end.

      As it turns out, the Flyers found a way to at least earn a point.

      Adam Fox scored at 36 seconds of overtime to give the Rangers a hard-earned 6-5 win on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

      With only nine games to play, every point is meaningful. Washington beat Detroit, so if the Flyers had lost in regulation time, they would have fallen to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.

      After taking a 2-0 lead late into the second period, the Flyers surrendered three goals, then had to rally three times for ties of 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5.

      Associate coach Brad Shaw, who took over post-game media briefing duties from head coach John Tortorella, appreciated the way his team refused to give up when it fell behind several times.

      “I just loved how we battled back,” Shaw said. “It was quite a roller-coaster, up and down, highs and lows but the fact that we kept scratching and clawing to get back into that game and get a point – it’s an awesome point, an awesome effort by everybody.”

       Tyson Foerster’s goal with 3:31 to play tied the score at 5-5. He tapped in a loose puck generated by a Garnet Hathaway shot.

      That turned out to be a big play.

      This game completed a stretch of seven straight games against elite playoff-bound teams and the Flyers finished a respectable 2-3-2, giving them six of a possible 14 points.

      “We knew this (stretch) was coming up on the schedule, what we were facing,” Scott Laughton said. “We handled it pretty well, I thought.

      The second of Alexis Lafreniere’s two goals gave the Rangers a 5-4 lead with 6:01 to play.

      A breakaway goal by Owen Tippett tied the score at 4-4 at 11:45. Morgan Frost made a fine pass up the middle, sending Tippett in alone on goalie Igor Shesterkin.

      Vincent Trocheck’s goal at 9:34 of the third period off a two-on-one rush with Mika Zibanejad broke a 3-3 tie with a shot past goalie Samuel Ersson.

      Ersson sounded like he wanted more from his game.

      “It’s a great attribute to have, to never give up,” he said. “For me, it (the third) was a pretty weird period. Obviously I know I have to come up with a couple saves. I have to find a way to handle it better mentally and come up with those saves when the team needs it.”

      Travis Konecny’s 31st goal of the season provided the Flyers a 3-3 tie. He scored with a shot past Shesterkin at 6:45.

      The Flyers were leading by that 2-0 score late in the second period and dominating defensively. Then Foerster took a penalty, the Rangers scored a power-play goal and they were off to the races.

      In the third period, the Flyers went through another defensive lapse, allowing the Rangers to score twice in a span of just 1:34.

      Down 2-1, the Rangers needed only 1:23 into the third period to tie it. Erik Johnson lost a puck battle in the corner, the puck wound up on Jonny Brodzinski’s stick and he made no mistake.

      Then at 2:57, Lafreniere poked in a puck from right on Ersson’s doorstep.

      Tortorella quickly called timeout and that seemed to allow the team time to regain its composure.

      Laughton’s goal at 2:58 of the second period gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Laughton took a pass from Konecny, raced toward the right hash marks and beat Shesterkin with a rising shot.

      Laughton has six goals in his last 14 games and three goals in his last four games.

      Ryan Poehling made it 2-0 at 11:39. With the Flyers on a power play, Poehling tipped in a Laughton shot.

      The Rangers got one back at 15:28. Zibanejad connected from the left circle.

      The teams played to a scoreless first period. The Flyers’ one Grade-A chance took place when Bobby Brink wound up with the puck alone deep in the Rangers’ zone. Brink tried several deke moves but Shesterkin stood his ground and turned aside Brink’s backhand shot.

      Tippett went along with Laughton’s assessment of the tough seven-game stretch. And now the Flyers will face eight teams not currently in the playoff picture over their last nine games.

      “We never backed down tonight and got a point out of it,” he said. “It just goes to show that if we stick with our mindset, good things happen.

      “It (the 2-3-2 mark against the top teams) gives us a lot of confidence. When you play teams like that back-to-back, you look at it as a good time for it for the playoffs, see how you stack up. I think we have a confident group and we have to continue to work away here.”

      >Short shots

      The Flyers head straight to Canada to play the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday. . .Nick Deslauriers and Cam Atkinson were Tuesday’s scratches.

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.