Through the course of the first period, Saturday's game between the Flyers and Rangers had a familiar feel. A familiar result, a familiar goal-scorer. But it was only one goal, and as the game progressed, the Flyers were getting a better defensive effort and better goaltending and in a position to win a game.
But there was still that lingering feeling that something could go wrong. Instead, an unlikely hero emerged late in the third, as Sam Morin scored his first NHL goal with 4:27 to play in the game. That goal held up as the game-winner, in a much-needed, 2-1 victory for the Flyers over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers came out firing shots from just about everywhere to start, opening up an 8-1 lead in shots.
It was near the halfway point of the period that the Flyers opened the door for the Rangers with a roughing penalty after a whistle on Travis Konecny, as he knocked Mika Zibanejad over. That set up another goal for Zibanejad on the power play, as he was left alone at the side of the net for the easy slam-dunk goal.
The Flyers finished the period with a 17-8 lead in shots, but seemed to sag and get slower following the Rangers goal.
In the second period, the Rangers came out with some jump and somehow didn't score on a power play in the early stages. The Flyers also had multiple opportunities on the power play. They let an early opportunity go by the wayside just minutes into the period. Just past the midpoint of regulation, Chris Kreider went to the box for tripping and was quickly followed by Kevin Rooney with another tripping call, giving the Flyers 1:17 of 5-on-3 time.
After over-passing during the 5-on-3 and failing to score, the Flyers finally broke through in the final seconds of the remaining 5-on-4 time. Sean Couturier won a battle in the corner, and got the puck to the point for Shayne Gostisbehere. After Gostisbehere settled the puck with his glove, he fired a shot on goal that was deflected by Nolan Patrick and in, tying the game up at one.
The Flyers continued their push after the equalizer, before a late penalty on Phil Myers put the Rangers back on the man-advantage. The Flyers closed the period killing the penalty as the game went to the third locked at 1-1. Shots were 29-17 Flyers through 40 minutes.
The Rangers seemed to carry the play a bit more in the third, as they earned the lone power play of the period right at the midpoint. The Flyers managed a successful kill, then weather the storm until the final five minutes. Michael Raffl came up the ice without much help, but got the puck to Nicolas Aube-Kubel off the bench. Aube-Kubel got it back to open space for Morin, who snapped a wrist shot that beat Igor Shesterkin and gave the Flyers the lead.
The Flyers held off the push from the Rangers the rest of the way, locking things up near the end. Brian Elliott finished with 24 saves in the win. Shesterkin made 35 saves in the loss.
The Flyers now hit the road, going to Buffalo for their next two games. The first comes on Monday night at 7 p.m.
- NYR Mika Zibanejad (11) PP (Ryan Strome, Adam Fox) 10:54
- PHI Nolan Patrick (4) PP (Shayne Gostisbehere, Sean Couturier) 12:52
- PHI Sam Morin (1) (Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Michael Raffl) 15:33