Rookie Alex Lyon came in and saved the day for the Flyers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, beating the New York Rangers 7-4.
What is it about when the Philadelphia Flyers play in New York against the Rangers that you can almost always expect a game that won’t disappoint?
That sure was the case on Sunday as the Flyers got a much-needed 7-4 win against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Of course, after the first period, you can be forgiven if you didn’t think a win was in the cards for the Orange and Black.
That was because goalie Michal Neuvirth was replaced by rookie Alex Lyon to begin the second period with the game tied 3-3. Neuvirth evidently suffered a lower-body injury late in the first on a Mats Zuccarello goal and didn’t return.
Thankfully, Lyon played brilliantly, stopping 25 of 26 shots. He allowed Peter Holland to get one more goal early in the second to make the score 4-3, but that was all the scoring the Rangers would see for the rest of the day.
The Flyers, on the other hand, were far from done.
By the time all was said and done, Claude Giroux had scored his 200th career goal, Travis Konecny had the first three-point game of his career with a goal and two assists and Jori Lehtera had his first goal as a Flyer. Andrew MacDonald, Brandon Manning, Nolan Patrick and Scott Laughton all also got in on the scoring to give the Flyers their best showing against the Rangers since 1992. The seven goals was the most allowed by goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the 56 games he has played against Philadelphia.
In addition to all the scoring, fans at MSG also got some bonus fights as well.
Shayne Gostisbehere got into the first fight of his career, going up against Pavel Buchenevich after a particularly hard check on Konecny. In addition, Dale Weise got into it with Cody McLeod as the first period saw three fights, six goals and 32 penalty minutes.
The win puts the Flyers at 30-19-10 on the season, 6-0-2 in their last eight games and 22-8-3 since the infamous 10-game losing streak ended in early December. They currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place.
Lyon took his first NHL victory in stride, saying that he gives most of the credit to his teammates and he hopes he can carry the confidence into the rest of the season.
“A first NHL win, you can talk about for a long time. Fun building, great atmosphere. Can’t give enough credit to the guys. They played really well.
“I’m just happy I was able to contribute. It’s a big two points. Every point is huge now. Against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. I’m just going to take confidence and be happy.”
And it looks like he’s going to need it.
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With regular goalie Brian Elliott out five to six weeks after having core muscle surgery and now the injury to Neuvirth, Lyon could be seeing a lot of action over the coming weeks.
Next up for the Flyers is a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.