Instant Replay: Flyers 2, Rangers 1


Instant Replay: Flyers 2, Rangers 1


Flyers coach Craig Berube talked about creating traffic in front of the net and getting point shots through.

That’s exactly what happened in the third period as Wayne Simmonds caused havoc in the crease in front of Rangers goalie Cam Talbot and Braydon Coburn scored from the point to break a 1-1 tie.

When you’re playing an opponent that is missing four key players and things are so bad in goal they have to start a rookie in his NHL debut, you should score maybe three or four goals.

Not the Flyers.

They had to settle for a pair during their 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center that snapped their four-game losing skid.

Post shots
The gang that couldn’t shoot straight hit the right post twice in the second period. Kimmo Timonen shot from the point and Luke Schenn had one up close.

Special teams
The Flyers were once again brutal on the power play. They even squandered a five-minute power play that stretched from the end of the second period into the third. In all, they had four shots on that power play but couldn’t score. The Flyers' power play is now one for its last 25.

Matt Read came into the game without a single point through seven games. He ended that drought in the first period with a shorthanded goal when Rangers center Derrick Brassard turned the puck over at the blue line.

“At the blue line I made a decision … went five-hole,” said Read, who scored on Cam Talbot when Read played for Bemidji State and Talbot played for Alabama-Huntsville back in 2009. The two played 13 times against each other in college with Read scoring 12 goals.

Fluke goal
That would best describe Brad Richards' fifth goal of the season in the final 1:04 of the first period that left a bitter taste in fans’ mouths. The Flyers were ahead 1-0 when Richards put a tough-angle shot on net that went off Braydon Coburn’s knee, short side on goalie Steve Mason. Coburn was kicking at the puck.

Game misconduct
Rangers winger Benoit Pouliot was tossed from the game in the second period after receiving a five-minute major for boarding. Max Talbot slipped near the Rangers' bench as Pouliot then pushed him face-first into the bench. Talbot was visibly stunned, bloodied at the mouth and couldn’t stand. He had to helped off the ice to the dressing room. Twice in the corridor, he was wobbly on his feet. Pouliot is facing a suspension. Incredibly, Talbot returned to play in the third period, apparently, unconcussed.

Derek Dorsett won a decision over Zac Rinaldo in the first period. What happened here is that Rinaldo, who lays people out with clean, hard checks, missed a big one on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Dorsett wanted him to know that wasn’t OK.

Wayne Simmonds got the best of Brandon Mashinter in the second period, while Dorsett earned a 10-minute misconduct, essentially for trying to fight anything that moved on the ice.

J.T. Miller’s power-play goal in the third period was overturned on video review for kicking the puck into the net. That would have tied the game at 2-2.

For the Flyers, it was winger Jay Rosehill and defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Hall Gill.

Max Talbot (stitches to the face).

Dave Hakstol did Steve Mason a favor by challenging Sabres' 3rd goal

Dave Hakstol did Steve Mason a favor by challenging Sabres' 3rd goal

Many, though not all hockey games, have a tipping point or pivotal moment that factors into the outcome.
Sometimes it’s obvious what it was and when the moment occurred. Other times, it’s overshadowed by something else on the ice.
Ask the Flyers which moment would define their come-from-behind 4-3 shootout victory over Buffalo on Tuesday and the response will be virtually unanimous: when Dmitry Kulikov leveled Jakub Voracek with a high hit that made contact to the head in the third period.
Voracek was forced off the ice under the NHL’s concussion protocol.
That hit incensed the Flyers, who went on to score two power-play goals and tie the game, 3-3. The comeback was on.
Yet there was a less obvious but significant point that happened late in the second period, and it concerned goalie Steve Mason.
Matt Moulson had given Buffalo a 3-0 lead on Michal Neuvirth at 15:43, when Flyers coach Dave Hakstol elected to make a goalie switch.
Rather than call a simple timeout to buy Mason some warm-up time and allow his team to collect itself on the bench, Hakstol challenged the goal, claiming “goalie interference.”
Replays won’t show any direct interference on the shot itself. Neuvirth was speared several seconds before the play developed.
Hakstol knew the goal would likely not be overturned, but his strategy was to buy time for Mason and his team. By using a challenge, he knew the review process would take a lot longer than the 60-second timeout.
Either way, he was going to use his only timeout.
“You know what, I think we needed a timeout at that time, anyway,” Hakstol said coyly. “Pretty low probability of it being successful. Everything worked out well in the end.”
Mason appreciated what his coach did, too. Buying extra time for you?
“Yeah, probably,” Mason replied. “Regardless of the situation, you’re sitting on the bench, you know? You’re not really gauged as much as when you’re playing, obviously. So, you just try and ramp things up as quickly as possible.”
Mason had two saves in that shortened period, five in the third period and one in the overtime to register his second victory.
“There’s a never-quit attitude in this room,” he said. “We showed in Chicago — we were just talking about that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to close that one out.
“But guys have a belief that you get one [moment] and it comes. [Travis Konecny] got us going with his first NHL goal, which is great. The guys really pushed to capitalize on their chances.”

Flyers Notes: Travis Konecny sparks power play with 1st NHL goal

Flyers Notes: Travis Konecny sparks power play with 1st NHL goal

The kid finally has his first NHL goal.

Travis Konecny scored at 4:30 of the third period (see video) during the Flyers' 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo on Tuesday night (see story).  

His was the first of three power-play goals to erase a 3-0 deficit and get the Flyers into overtime.

First markers are always that much more special when they make a difference in a comeback victory, such as this one with the Flyers in a brutal stretch of six games in nine days.

“I am just excited that it happened,” Konecny said. “But the thing for me that was more exciting was coming back after that 3-0 [deficit] and an overall exciting night for us.”

The three power-play goals were a season high for the Flyers.

“We got going those two power plays ... our power plays set a tone,” Konecny said. “When that gets going, it makes it hard for the other team to stop us.

“It’s awesome because we know what they can do [on the top power-play unit]. They have been sticking with it and fighting the puck, whatever it’s been the past couple of games, but you know what they are capable of — you can see it the past couple of years. 

“You knew it was coming and tonight is the perfect night to get it going and I am sure that they are going to keep rolling with it.”

Schultz sits
The decision to sit 15-year veteran blueliner Nick Schultz to get Radko Gudas back into the lineup wasn’t easy but it made sense on several levels. Gudas had been suspended for six games.

First, Schultz doesn’t play on the power play, whereas Andrew MacDonald carries heavy minutes with the power play and penalty kill.

Brandon Manning? Not happening. He’s been the Flyers' best defenseman this season. Mark Streit? Doesn’t work because he quarterbacks the second-unit PP and is essentially teaching that duty to rookie Ivan Provorov.

“It’s real tough,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s part of the business and [Schultz has] done an excellent job. He’s always very well-prepared.

“We talked about what’s best for our team and we feel like Gudy going in, especially on a back-to-back, gives us fresh legs and a fresh body coming back into the lineup.”

Hakstol recently has had to switch around his defensive pairs to get more defensive coverage and consistency on the ice. For instance, moving Provorov from Streit to Manning.

He discounted Schultz’s age (34) as a true factor in the decision.

“I think the more flexibility you have, the better, whether it be for rest or for the injury situations,” Hakstol said. “First and foremost, I think we’re still looking for the true consistency that we need through our entire team, but certainly your D pairs are a big part of that. 

“Before we start getting to a comfort level of guys playing with different people, first we have to find true consistency. We’ve been pretty good, but we’ve had stretches where the consistency needs to improve, as well.”