Just like 2010, the Flyers needed Game 82 against the Rangers to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Flyers shut out the Rangers, 5-0, Saturday to finish with 98 points, becoming the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff team.
Captain Claude Giroux put an exclamation point on his MVP season with his first career regular season hat trick in his 738th game.
Ivan Provorov opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season 6:34 into the first period and the Flyers never looked back. Michael Raffl and Giroux scored six seconds apart to put the game out of reach at 4-0.
The two goals in six seconds established a franchise record for fastest two goals, eclipsing the mark of seven seconds last achieved on April 23, 2013, against the Bruins.
Earlier in the second period, Giroux added his 32nd goal as he reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in his NHL career, and the first Flyer since Eric Lindros in 1995-96 (see story).
Brian Elliott stopped all 17 shots for his 37th career shutout and the first in a Flyers uniform.
• The Flyers needed to get greasy in their game with the Hurricanes, and you had to think that would be the case against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. On a delayed penalty and a 6-on-5, the Flyers jumped on the board first with an ugly goal. Provorov had the presence to jump in from the blue line, and as Sean Couturier looked to center a pass over a sprawling Lundqvist, the puck bounced off the goalie, off Provorov and into the net. Provorov usually never makes a bad read, and on the 1-0 goal, there was a high reward/ low-risk element to it.
• Recently, most notably the Islanders game, the second period had become the Flyers' Achilles heel. The Flyers railroaded the Rangers with three goals while outshooting them, 18-5. New York didn’t seem to be in attack mode with a “dump the puck, send one attacker in” mentality. The Flyers overcame some solid play from Lundqvist early on, who was making some big saves to keep the Rangers close.
• After Giroux scored on the Flyers' power play in the second, the Wells Fargo Center, in unison, began chanting “MVP, MVP!” Giroux joined Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid as the only players to reach the 100-point mark this season. With Giroux reaching the century mark and the Flyers reaching the postseason, Giroux seems to be a near-lock to become one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player. In fact, the chants rained down after each of Giroux’s goal.
• Elliott looked much more comfortable and at ease in his second start back from core muscle surgery. Elliott came up with some key first period saves to keep the Rangers off the board. His movements were fluid and smooth, and he didn’t remotely display any rust that was evident in the game against the Hurricanes. However, Elliott was barely challenged during that lopsided second period.
• Jake Voracek, Travis Konecny and now Michael Raffl. Playing with Giroux and Couturier has been a performance boost regardless who’s played on that No. 1 line. The trio of Giroux-Couturier-Raffl finished with four goals and three assists, combined, with a whopping plus-12 rating. Raffl was all over the place in the offensive zone with four shots and six attempted shots in the first two periods.