Flyers achieve a 5-4 overtime win. The reeling Philadelphia Flyers (14-9-3) kicked off a two-game series in Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers (11-12-4) in an effort to right the Philly ship. An influx of bad habits have haunted this team but, at least for one night, they exorcised those demons.
Falling behind early, James Van Riemsdyk hit the net at the 3:47 mark with help from Justin Braun and the constantly improving, Joel Farabee. Another constant, Shawn Couturier helped out Ivan Provorov. With 5:05 played the visitors corrected the falling behind and ended the first up, 2-0. Maybe I spoke too soon as New York fired back. Artemi Panarin, Colin Blackwell, and Julien Gauthier put the Blue Shirts up, 3-2. On to issue two and three.
The power play and the struggles of Captain Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. With 1:34 remaining in the second and trailing by a goal, Giroux and Voracek set up Farabee on a… wait for it…. a power-play goal!
The teams went to the third period. The question was, “Can Philly pull off a gut check and pull this one out?” Brendan Lemieux and Brett Howden got assists on a Kevin Rooney marker at the 2:56 mark. 2:37 would elapse and the issue of items 2 and 3 would be addressed again when Giroux and Provorov assisted on an absolutely beautiful goal for Giroux on the power play!
On a play that was drawn up before the faceoff, Voracek drew a defender while Giroux faked going behind the net and tapped in a gimme from the edge of the crease. Philly kept the pressure on with Scott Laughton being stoned by Rangers goalie, Keith Kinkaid on a breakaway. Neither team could find the back of the net so off to overtime, they would go.
Problem 4- Bad defensive give-aways. Depending on who you are cheering for, Kinkaid either made a bad decision trying to the outlet, or Jake Voracek made a stellar steal and went in alone and bested Kinkaid to pull out what, Flyers fans hope, is a season changer… we shall soon find out.
Problem 5- Allowing too many shots while not getting enough. Shots on goal were New York 24, Flyers 30. Carter Hart turned away 20 shots and looked to be crisper and a bit more confident. Philly had the edge in face-offs at 36-26 with Giroux winning, 17, and Couturier, 16. Flyers achieve a 5-4 overtime win over the Rangers.