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The Philadelphia Flyers continued their recent hot streak on Sunday afternoon by rolling into Madison Square Garden and crushing the New York Rangers, 7-4.
It helped them keep pace with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the race for the No. 2 spot (or perhaps even the top spot) in the Metropolitan Division and was their seventh win in the past eight games. Since losing 10 in a row earlier this season the Flyers are now on a 22-8-2 run.
It was a balanced offensive attack that featured the Flyers getting goals from seven different players, including captain Claude Giroux who scored his 200th career goal.
The Flyers also received goals from Travis Konecny, Jori Lehtera, Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton, Brandon Manning, and Andrew MacDonald.
That is the good news for the Flyers.
The bad news is the win came with a price as they lost another goalie when Michal Neuvirth had to leave the game after the first period due to a lower body injury. He was replaced by rookie Alex Lyon who went on to stop 25 of the 26 shots he faced to record his first career win.
The problem for the Flyers is going to be if Neuvirth’s injury is anything serious because they are already without starting goalie Brian Elliott for the next few weeks. That could leave them dangerously thin at one of the most important positions on the ice at the worst time of the year. If Neuvirth misses any significant time it could force general manager Ron Hextall into a trade.
Sunday’s game got off to a pretty wild start as the two teams combined for six goals and three fights in the first period.
The fighting started just 15 seconds into the game when Shayne Gostisbehere dropped the gloves for the first time in his career. It was in response to a hit from Pavel Buchnevich on Konecny. It was Buchnevich’s second career fight and came in just his second game back in the lineup after he was sidelined due to a concussion.
Ten minutes later Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves with Anthony DeAngelo, a bout that was followed by Cody McLeod and Dale Weise fighting just one minute later.
As for the Rangers, well, this one was ugly. The only good news is that a couple of their potential trade pieces (Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello) scored goals and perhaps gave their trade value a little bit of a boost. Other than that this was an ugly, ugly game as they gave up way too many chances, looked sloppy defensively, left Henrik Lundqvist out on an island too many times, while Lundqvist himself had a rough game.
The Rangers kept Lundqvist in for all seven goals against.