Flyers Notes: Coburn shuts down Nash in Game 4

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Flyers Notes: Coburn shuts down Nash in Game 4

Braydon Coburn was one of the unsung heroes of Game 4 Friday night for the Flyers in their 2-1 win over the Rangers (see game story).

He played 25:27 grueling minutes against Rangers superstar Rick Nash and shut him down -- a small reason why the Flyers tied the series, 2-2, with Game 5 Sunday in New York.

Nash played 17:11 with five shots and was a minus-1.

“I think we’re doing it mostly by committee,” Coburn said. “They roll four lines pretty well, so we’re trying to roll three sets of D.

“Obviously, [Nash] is a big, strong player. You want to keep him to the outside as much as you can.”

Wasn’t he a focus?

“I don’t know,” Coburn said. “Just because ... they had some points and stuff, but honestly they’ve got four even lines that they use and you always are aware when there are great players like Nash and his linemates [Martin] St. Louis and [Derek] Stepan.

“But you know it’s playoffs and it’s four lines coming at you all the time. These guys are good players and you’ve just got to make sure you’re ready every shift against them.”

Flyers head coach Craig Berube lauded Coburn’s play.

“Great job, I thought he had a great game,” Berube said. “He skated, really skated and was strong on the puck and strong on his breakout plays.

“He did a great job down low against Nash. That is not an easy guy to check. That whole line is not easy to check with St. Louis and Stepan, a good line. Our D as a whole did a good job.”

The Flyers’ defense went more than half the game with five defenders after Nicklas Grossmann left in the second period with a lower-body injury.

“It was a heavy game,” Nash said. “It was a physical battle and it was a playoff-type game.”

And Coburn was all over Nash all game.

“I thought he’d been playing like that all series,” Nash said. “All their D-men have been finishing their checks, playing physical. We’ve got to hold onto pucks and bump off them.”

Shots
The Flyers won despite being outshot, 38-25. The losing team has outshot the winning team by at least eight shots in Games 2, 3 and 4.

Blocks
Andrew MacDonald recorded five blocked shots in Game 4. He led the NHL with 242 blocked shots in the regular season.

Game 4
The Flyers are now 34-35 all time in Game 4 of a seven-game playoff series. They’re strong in Game 5’s, winning 34, losing 25. When winning Game 4, the Flyers are 24-9 all time. When tied 2-2, the Flyers are 14-7 all time and 12-9 all time in Game 5 when tied 2-2.

Banked shot
The Flyers’ first goal of the game saw Jason Akeson rip a deliberate shot off the backboards with the carom coming out to Matt Read at the right post.

It was a set play, both players admitted after the game, though Akeson said he was first tempted to shoot the puck on net.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist got a small piece of Read’s one-timer, but not enough to stop it from going into the net. Read’s goal made it a 1-1 game.

“I didn’t expect it to come out that fast and on his stick he came faster, so it was hard for me to get across,” Lundqvist said.

“Your reaction is to kind of turn to your right first and then you realize it’s coming out of your left side. It was close that I got it, but it was not enough.”

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

DETROIT -- Brandon Dubinsky scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus.

Dylan Larkin's power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings. Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Sam Gagner scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds remaining (see full story). 

Staal scores in 6th round of SO to lift Wild over Oilers
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Eric Staal scored in the sixth round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night.

Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won three straight.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. He entered with a league-best .946 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against average.

Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers, whose four-game losing streak began with a 2-1 home overtime loss to the Wild last Sunday.

Staal scored on a backhand deke before Nugent-Hopkins fired wide in the sixth round (see full story). 

Raanta, Rangers beat Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime
CHICAGO -- Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night.

Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the ice, and he beat Scott Darling on the stick side for his fourth goal of the season.

Darling was going for his second straight shutout while subbing for injured starter Corey Crawford but had to settle for another solid performance.

Raanta, who made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2013 and played for the Blackhawks for two seasons before he was traded to New York, improved to 15-0-3 in 20 career appearances at the United Center.

The 27-year-old Raanta had 17 saves in Thursday's 2-1 victory at Winnipeg, and coach Alain Vigneault opted to give him a second straight start over Henrik Lundqvist because of his recent play and his success in Chicago (see full story).

Oshie, Johansson, Grubauer lift Caps over Sabres 4-1
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Jakub Vrana and John Carlson also scored, helping Washington beat Buffalo for the third time in 15 days.

Kyle Okposo scored and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost three of their last four.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 6:43 into the second period when he lifted a shot from the right edge of the crease past Lehner. Jay Beagle drew two defenders into the corner and sent the puck back to a wide open Oshie for his ninth goal of the season (see full story). 

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers (16-10-3) vs. Stars (11-11-6)
1 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

Remember when it was a fight for the Flyers to simply sew together back-to-back wins?

Prior to this run, they had done it just twice in the first 22 games.

Now, they’re the hottest team in the NHL, winners of seven straight and trying to make it eight on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the matchup:

1. The great eight?
Jeremy Roenick, Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins.

Roman Cechmanek and Brian Boucher.

These are just some of the players that were wearing Flyers jerseys when the team last won eight consecutive games, back on Jan. 6-19, 2002.

It’s worth mentioning, before the 2004-05 season, winning streaks were a bit more challenging with a tie being the result if overtime went scoreless. The extra session was also not 3-on-3, like it is now.

Still, what the current Flyers are doing is impressive. They’ve gone to the shootout only once over the seven-game spurt and have outscored the opposition by 10 goals, 27-17.

2. Raffl winners
Dave Hakstol has called Michael Raffl a big-bodied, straight-line forward, which is certainly not off the mark.

But from time to time, Raffl will show the deceptive skill side of his game.

He did it Thursday night to win the Flyers’ 6-5 affair over the Oilers in the final minute and a half of regulation for his second game-winner over the last three contests.

"Raf has this stutter step that's undercover speedy," Steve Mason said postgame Thursday (see story). "He used it in Nashville to get a big goal and then here tonight.

"It looks like he's going to stop fully up, but he finds another gear and he really adds another element to that line that brings physical play.

"He has that sneaky talent, too, that can make you pay."

Raffl is quietly making teams pay. The Flyers are 4-0-2 in games that he scores a goal. Despite missing eight games because of injury, the 28-year-old Austrian is on pace for around 20 goals.

That’s much-valued secondary scoring and complementary play.

3. Not so bright
Before reeling off seven straight wins, the Flyers were in a similar spot to which the Stars are in now.

Dallas, which finished 50-23-9 last season — best in the Western Conference — after starting 19-5-0, can’t find consistency through 28 games this season. The Stars have won back-to-back games just once thus far and goaltending has been an issue as Dallas is surrendering an NHL-worst 3.18 goals per game.

The Stars do not lack offensive firepower, however. Center Tyler Seguin is tied for second in the NHL with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists), while linemate Jamie Benn isn’t far behind at 24 (eight goals, 16 assists).

Also, veteran forward Jason Spezza is coming off a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in Dallas’ 5-2 win over the Predators.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: We’ve got to go Jakub Voracek after the winger’s one-goal, three-assist performance on Thursday night. Voracek has been an absolute monster on the seven-game winning streak, posting 11 points with three goals and eight assists for a plus-6 rating.

Stars: It’s hard not to say Seguin, a dynamic player who always gives the Flyers trouble. His 21 career points (nine goals, 12 assists) against the orange and black are his second most versus any team.

5. This and that
• Mason is on a career-best six-game winning streak in which he’s posted a 2.27 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Since Nov. 12, Mason is 9-3-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

• Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is a dreadful 1-10-3 lifetime against the Flyers with a 3.49 goals-against average and .891 save percentage, while backup Antti Niemi is 4-1-0 with 1.48 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

• Dallas has won its last three meetings with the Flyers by a combined score of 7-3.

• The Stars have lost 11 of 15 on the road.

• Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four games.