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Flyers-Rangers: Postgame Review

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Well, that was something.

The Flyers and Rangers have had many classic games over the years, but this was certainly one of the crazier affairs between the two.

Ultimately, the Flyers were able to survive the adversity and come away with another win, a 7-4 victory over the Rangers.

Let's dive right in with our Postgame Review.

Postgame Points

    1. Goals Upon Goals - This was certainly a very different game in the scoring department. The Flyers lost a high-scoring game to the Devils earlier this week, but more and more of their games have been similar to Friday's 2-1 overtime win in Columbus.

      Defense was optional in this one. It was an all-out free-for-all with little structure. Following one of the Flyers best defensive showings of the season, that was disappointing.

      That said, the Flyers never really took their foot off the gas in attacking the Rangers either. They went toe-to-toe with them in the first period and through the first half of the second period. In the third, they finally were able to lock things down, with big help from their goalie, and finish the job.

      But the early flurry of goals -- six between the two teams in about 17 minutes -- was just outrageous.

      And the sources of the scoring was even crazier than the actual totals. Sure, Claude Giroux scored a milestone goal and Travis Konecny remained hot. It was nice to see Nolan Patrick rewarded with a goal for his efforts.

      But Andrew MacDonald, Brandon Manning and Jori Lehtera? The trio have combined for 10 goals this season. Lehtera got his first. Manning scored for the first time in 21 games. Crazy game, this hockey.

    2. Slugfest - Fighting is certainly something that is disappearing from the game and it's very, very rare to see more than one in a game. Within the first 13 minutes of this game, there were three.

      The first probably featured the two most unlikely combatants, with Shayne Gostisbehere coming to the aid of Konecny and dropping the gloves with Pavel Buchnevich. Wayne Simmonds later dropped the gloves with Tony DeAngelo and Dale Weise in a bout with Cody McLeod.

      Between the high scoring and the multiple brawls, this had the feel of an old-time playoff game.

    3. Lyon's Den - The Flyers got their worst nightmare when Michal Neuvirth had to leave the game after the first period with a lower-body injury. With Brian Elliott already down, the Flyers needed to ride Neuvirth as much as possible down the stretch, and now were forced to send Alex Lyon into the net in what was virtually an All-Star Game with fights.

      Lyon deserves a ton of credit for his performance. It may not have been the prettiest, but Lyon earned his first NHL win, stopping 25 of 26 shots faced in the final two periods. During the second period, he made several impressive saves, including a pair before the only goal he allowed on a third-chance rebound.

      This is certainly a huge thing for Lyon, beings that he may be the Flyers go-to in goal for the next couple of games at least.

      It certainly brings into question what the Flyers do from here. They have Dustin Tokarski in the minors, and he does have NHL experience. There was also a report that the Flyers turned down a trade with Detroit that would have sent Petr Mrazek to Philadelphia for a third-round pick. I'd assume discussions around goalies on the market pick up for Ron Hextall in the next week.

      But for now, Lyon at least can build on a game that should give him a lot more confidence. And the Flyers can look at his performance and at least feel comfortable in the interim should they need to use him as a starting goalie for the time being.

    4. Dethroning the King - In the other net, what a disaster. Henrik Lundqvist looks like a shell of his former self.

      Lundqvist was already pulled from Saturday's start in Ottawa after allowing five goals. On Sunday, he allowed seven more, as a forgettable season continues. 

      It certainly wasn't all on Lundqvist that the Rangers allowed seven goals, but the Flyer killer looked shaky from the start and let up a few goals he would probably like back. The Flyers certainly took advantage of Lundqvist's struggles, firing at will on the goalie all game.

    5. Continuing the Climb - Make it six wins and points in eight straight games for the Flyers, since their late loss on Feb. 1 to the Devils. With a total of 14 points in the last eight games, the Flyers are now seven points ahead on the final playoff spot, pending Sunday night's results, and sit just three points back of the division-leading Washington Capitals.

      It really is time to look at the Flyers from just about three months ago and give them credit for how they have overcome a lot of adversity, even in the last few games.

      This team was completely out of it. They were basically a deadline fire sale and lottery pick waiting to happen. And since their 10th straight loss on Dec. 2, which gave them an 8-11-7 record at the time, they have a 22-8-3 record in 33 games, picking up 47 points in the standings in that time.

      Suddenly, the team that was going to have the season written off in mid-December has a path to the playoffs, and they continued the climb with another two-point effort against a divisional foe.

 

Play of the Game

With so many goals in the game, it's hard to pick just one, but we'll go with Claude Giroux's 200th career goal, a perfectly placed shot off the bar and in over Henrik Lundqvist.

By the Numbers

The Flyers had an edge in possession numbers and shot attempts all game, but really picked things up in the third period. They had a 22-17 edge in shot attempts, a 56.41 CF%, in the final period, putting the finishing touches on a wild game with plenty of scoring.

 
Stat of the Game
 
For the second straight game, the Flyers didn't commit a penalty that put the opposition on the power play. The Flyers had the lone power play of the game and went 0-for-1. The rest of the penalties in the game were fighting majors.

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