Rangers win 4th straight, hand Flyers 7th consecutive loss
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider scored again and Igor Shesterkin stopped 33 shots to help the New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, Jacob Trouba and Dryden Hunt also scored and Kaapo Kakko added two assists as the Rangers won for the eighth time in nine games. New York has won six in a row at home.
Shesterkin made 11 saves in the first period, 15 in the second and seven in the third to improve to 12-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average this season.
Morgan Frost scored and Carter Hart had 24 saves for Philadelphia, which lost its seventh straight (0-5-2).
Trailing by two, the Flyers pulled Hart with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining and Panarin scored an empty-netter with 44 seconds left for the final margin.
Kreider made it 3-0 just 34 seconds into the second period, getting a centering pass from Kakko at the right doorstep and firing it past Hart while falling down for his team-leading 16th goal of the season. No other Rangers player has more than five. Mika Zibanejad also had an assist on the play for his 300th point with the Rangers.
The Flyers went on the power play less than 90 seconds later as Hunt was whistled for a charging major. After a review, he also received a game misconduct that carries an automatic ejection.
Philadelphia, with just two goals in its previous 34 power plays coming in, had seven shots on goal during the five-minute advantage, but couldn't get anything past Shesterkin. The goalie denied Scott Laughton's tip try, and slap shots by Cam Atkinson, Keith Yandle and Claude Giroux.
Frost finally got the Flyers on the scoreboard at 9:37 of the middle period as he knocked in a loose puck after Giroux's shot bounced around in front off several players. It came on Philadelphia's 21st shot of the game.
The Rangers went on a power play early in the first period after Frost was whistled for high-sticking. However, the Flyers — who scored a man down in each of their previous two games — had a short-handed breakaway but Shesterkin made a glove save on Joel Farabee's slap shot from the left circle at 2:39.
Just more than a minute later, Trouba scored on a give-and-go with Kakko as he fired a one-timer from the point off the return pass for his fourth at 3:41.
Hunt nearly doubled the Rangers' lead at the 9-minute mark but Hart grabbed his high shot from in front.
Just 32 seconds later, Hunt got a pass from Panarin along the right side, cut toward the net, moved the puck from his backhand to forehand while being defended by Ivan Provorov, and fired it past Hart for his third goal. Adam Fox got his 18th assist — most among NHL defensemen.
The Rangers nearly had another goal with three minutes left in the opening period, scoring seconds after the whistle was blown for offside. However, replays appeared to show they were not offside, drawing boos from the home crowd.
Former Rangers C Kevin Hayes returned to the Flyers’ lineup after missing six games with an abdominal injury. To make room, F Max Willman was sent to Lehigh Valley of the AHL.
Derick Brassard, another former Rangers player, remained out of the lineup with a hip injury. Farabee left in the first period and didn't return.
Barclay Goodrow left about seven minutes into the third period after the puck deflected up into his face. He was down on the ice briefly before skating off and heading to the locker room, putting the Rangers down two forwards.
Each team was playing after having the previous game at home postponed due to the New York Islanders' COVID-19 outbreak, the Rangers on Sunday night and the Flyers on Tuesday. The Rangers were coming off a 5-2 win at Boston last Friday, and Philadelphia lost 5-2 at New Jersey on Sunday.
Flyers: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Rangers: Host San Jose on Friday night.
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