Sun, 05 Apr 2020

Hot teams collide when Flyers host Rangers

Field Level Media
28 Feb 2020, 18:05 GMT+10

The Philadelphia Flyers will be looking for their fifth consecutive victory when they host the New York Rangers on Friday.

The fourth straight came Tuesday, 4-2, on home ice over the San Jose Sharks.

Kevin Hayes had two goals and one assist to lift the surging Flyers to 22-5-4 at home, the most home wins by Philadelphia at this stage of the season since 1986-87.

The game was tied at 1 against the Sharks before the Flyers regained all the momentum from the second period on. Whenever they have needed a spark, head coach Alain Vigneault has provided it.

"We had a good conversation at the first intermission and came out better," said Travis Konecny, who recorded his 22nd goal and added a pair of assists. "The message was received."

Lost a bit in the win was the solid play of Nate Thompson and Derek Grant, each acquired separately before the trade deadline.

"For the most part, I thought both players showed smarts to their game," Vigneault said. "And I thought they got better and more comfortable as the game went on."

Grant won six of his 10 faceoffs and sure didn't look jet-lagged coming from the Anaheim Ducks on the West Coast.

"You're running on adrenaline and nervous excitement to start," Grant told Inquirer.com. "I started to settle in as the game went on. It's always nice to get the first one over with."

Goaltender Carter Hart is 17-2-2 at home with a 1.65 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.

The red-hot Rangers won their fifth in a row and their franchise-best ninth straight on the road, 5-2, against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Mika Zibanejad scored his 30th goal of the season and helped the Rangers overcome a 2-0 deficit with five unanswered goals.

The Rangers will now head to Philadelphia with an impressive 18-11-2 road mark.

"We're finding a way right now, and that's what we need going forward," Zibanejad said. "Right now we're just really consistent the way we play and the way we manage games."

The Rangers have climbed their way back into playoff contention by going 12-3-0 since the All-Star break. In addition, the Rangers are 11-3-0 in February and have already set a record for most wins in a month.

In their 5-2 win at Montreal, Ryan Strome scored two goals and had one assist. Phillip Di Giuseppe and Adam Fox each scored one goal, and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 32 shots.

Earlier this season, the Rangers might not have come back to win after trailing by two goals late in the second period. But things have been clicking lately, especially on the road.

New York knows it will take a complete effort to down the hot Flyers.

"If you're going to have success this time of year, you better have length up and down your lineup, and everybody's got to be pulling their weight," Rangers head coach David Quinn said.

--Field Level Media

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