PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Travis Konecny scored twice, Claude Giroux had three assists and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Thursday night.
Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist and Oskar Lindblom also scored for the Flyers, who won for just the fourth time in the last 12 games while picking up an important two points in the playoff race with seven games left.
Philadelphia began play holding the top wild card in the Eastern Conference and just a point behind Columbus, which hosted Florida on Thursday, for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers were four points in front of New Jersey and five ahead of Florida. The Panthers have three games in hand on the Flyers, while the Devils, who were idle Thursday, have one.
Jesper Fast had two goals and an assist and Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Rangers, who are playing out the string after being active sellers at the trading deadline.
With the Flyers’ top two goalies sidelined by injury, and Petr Mrazek, who Philadelphia acquired to fill in, ineffective of late, coach Dave Hakstol went with little-used rookie Alex Lyon. In his 10th career game, Lyon made 33 saves to improve to 4-2-1.
Lindblom scored eight seconds into the third period to give Philadelphia a 4-2 advantage. Nolan Patrick took the initial shot, and the rebound fell in front to the rookie Lindblom, who backhanded in his second goal.
Fast scored a similar goal for the Rangers, backhanding a rebound of Rob O’Gara’s shot 1:14 later to make it 4-3. It was the second goal of the game for Fast, who extended his point streak to seven games (three goals, six assists).
Lyon’s best save came with 13 ½ minutes remaining when he robbed Chris Kreider with a lunging stop with his right shoulder.
Rangers rookie Alexandar Georgiev started in goal in place of Henrik Lundqvist (neck/back), who was injured with five minutes left in Monday’s 5-3 loss to Columbus. Georgiev made 32 saves.
Voraeck muscled through three Rangers to break a 1-all tie 3:46 into the second period, shooting high over Georgiev’s glove.
Konecny scored his second of the night on a deflection of Radko Gudas’ shot from the point with 11:22 left in the second to put the Flyers up 3-1.
Fast pulled the Rangers within a goal with 2:57 remaining in the period when he sent the puck toward the net from the corner and it deflected off defenseman Ivan Provorov and past Lyon’s left pad.
Konecny netted his 21st of the season, a wrist shot from the slot past Georgiev’s glove side, to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead 7:56 into the contest.
Zibanejad continued his recent hot streak and tied the game at 1 with 6:07 left in the first when he got in alone on Lyon and beat him through the five-hole to extend his point streak to six games (7 goals, 3 assists).
NOTES: Injured Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (lower body) and Brian Elliott (core muscle surgery) did drills during Thursday’s morning skate. Neuvirth is aiming to return during the Flyers’ upcoming three-game road trip while Elliott is about two weeks from returning. ... Provorov played in his 157th straight game to start his career, breaking the club record for most consecutive contests by a Flyers newcomer. ... The teams wrap up the season series in the regular-season finale for both on April 7 in Philadelphia. The Flyers lead the series 2-1.
Rangers: Host Buffalo on Saturday night.
Flyers: Start three-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.