PHILADELPHIA: Sam Morin scored his first NHL goal with 4:27 left in the game to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Nolan Patrick also scored for the Flyers, who badly needed to win a close one against the Rangers. The Rangers had combined to beat the Flyers 17-3 in their past two meetings.
The Flyers moved into fifth place ahead of the Rangers in the East Division at 16-13-4 the top four teams qualify for the playoffs with 23 games left in a shortened season.
Morin, the 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft, had never scored a point in 14 career NHL games. The Flyers moved Morin from defense to winger and back to defense again over an injury-plagued career.
Morin may have scored the goal of the season for the Flyers.
New York beat the Flyers 9-0 last week and again 8-3 on Thursday, scoring 15 straight goals over the two games.
Mike Zibanejad turned New Yorks last two wins against the Flyers into laughers and it was almost comical when he scored again with 9:06 left in the first. Zibanejad floated around the crease and fired in Ryan Stromes pass from the circle for a power-play goal
The Rangers instantly tweeted, Mr. 300.
OK, that number did seem to signify Zibanejads goal total this season against the Flyers. It simply marked his career number of games, but seven goals over the last three games against one team is simply astounding.
Zibanejad had three goals and three assists in each of New Yorks last two wins against Philadelphia and became the first NHL player ever with six or more points in consecutive games against one opponent in the same regular season. He has only four goals and 20 points in his other 30 games.
So that 1-0 lead meant the rout was on?
Not so fast.
The Flyers showed some moxie and pushed back in the second period when they had a 5-on-3 edge for 1:17. Igor Shesterkin smothered two shots during the two-man edge and 2,500 Flyers fans booed when it became a one-man advantage. With three seconds left on the power play, Shayne Gostisbehere stopped a puck with his glove and took a slapper from the point. Patrick deflected the shot for his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-all.
Gostisbehere said the Flyers had lost its identity in a dreadful March. Carter Hart, who had allowed 16 goals over a three-game losing streak, got the game off. Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots and the Flyers improved to 5-9-1 in March.
The Rangers play Sunday in Washington.
The Flyers play Monday and Wednesday in Buffalo.
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