Pickard, Top Line Shine in Flyers Shutout Win Over Rangers


(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Just when things start to look bleak, they reel you back in.

The Flyers were riding a four-game losing streak as the red-hot New York Rangers came to town, winners in nine of the last 11 games. But on this day, the Flyers were seemingly in control from the start.

For the first time in five games, the Flyers scored the first goal of the game and never looked back, as all three members of the top line had three-point games and Cal Pickard pitched a 31-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Rangers on Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers got off to a much better start, generating several shots on goal early. By throwing the puck on net, they were able to get a bounce in their favor.

Travis Konecny put a shot on goal that hit the pad of Henrik Lundqvist and the rebound hit the skate of Brady Skjei and went in. It was Konecny's sixth goal of the season. 

After 20 minutes, the Flyers had a 15-8 advantage in shots.

There was no scoring in the second period with both teams getting power play opportunities and both goalies helping keep the margin at one.

The Rangers had the first power play of the game but struggled to get set up. The Flyers had a similar issue with their man advantage. The Rangers went back to the power play with 55 seconds left in the period.

Lundqvist was excellent for the Rangers in the middle period, making 18 saves, including several on second-chance opportunities and deflection tries by the Flyers. Pickard was also solid at the other end. After making all eight saves in the first period, he faced 14 shots in the middle frame and stopped all of them as well.

There was also a fight in the second period, as Konecny dropped the gloves with Ryan Strome after a late hit on Sean Couturier.

Through 40 minutes, the Flyers led the Rangers in shots, 33-22, and the Rangers had 1:04 of carryover time on the power play.

The 1-0 lead for the Flyers held through most of the final period as the teams played at 5-on-5. Lundqvist remained excellent, and Pickard started to make bigger saves as well, none more important that a one-on-one stop on Lias Andersson from in close.

The Rangers did come close to getting on the board and tying the game, hitting the post with under six minutes to play. Seconds later, the Flyers finally padded the lead.

A nice passing play resulted in a goal as Claude Giroux got the puck to Konecny, who dished over to Couturier for the one-touch goal to make it 2-0 with 5:21 to play.

Jordan Weal scored into an empty net with 2:02 to play to ice the game, but for good measure, Couturier added his second goal of the game, getting a rebound from a Konecny shot to make it 4-0.

Pickard stopped all 31 shots he faced in the shutout win. Lundqvist was stellar despite the loss, making 42 saves on 45 shots.

It's a quick turnaround for the Flyers, who travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Rangers 0 0 0 0
Flyers 1 0 3 4

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • PHI Travis Konecny (6) (Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux) 13:21

2nd Period

  • No Scoring

3rd Period

  • PHI Couturier (9) (Konecny, Giroux) 14:39
  • PHI Jordan Weal (3) EN (Wayne Simmonds) 17:58
  • PHI Couturier (10) (Konecny, Giroux) 18:23

Game Statistics

  Rangers Flyers
Shots 31 46
Power Plays 0/3 0/1
Hits 22 26
Faceoff % 41.3% 58.7%
Giveaways 9 5
Takeaways 4 8
Blocked Shots 19 10
Penalty Minutes 7 11