Flyers

After shutting out Sidney Crosby, Penguins, Flyers have taken down NHL's top 4 teams in span of 14 days

After shutting out Sidney Crosby, Penguins, Flyers have taken down NHL's top 4 teams in span of 14 days

BOX SCORE

The Flyers will confidently go into their NHL-mandated Jan. 22-30 bye week knowing that they can beat the best teams in the NHL.

Especially after shutting out the Penguins, 3-0, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Over a span of 14 days, the Flyers have taken down the Capitals, Bruins, Blues and Penguins — the top four clubs in the NHL standings.

The Flyers (27-17-6) improved to 9-2-3 against the Metropolitan Division after going 10-16-2 against divisional opponents last season.

Alain Vigneault’s team is three points out of third place in the division, while the 60 points overall are the Flyers’ most through 50 games since 2011-12, when they started 30-14-6 and last won a playoff series.

The Penguins (31-14-5) were shut out for just the second time this season.

• The Flyers’ penalty kill has gone 25 for 28 over the last seven games, which included matchups with the Capitals, Lightning, Bruins, Blues and Penguins.

The Flyers went 5-2-0 during that stretch, in large thanks to the improved PK this season.

• Travis Konecny is surging into his first All-Star Game.

Through 47 games, the 22-year-old already has a new career high in assists with 26 after feeding James van Riemsdyk during the second period to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

At second intermission, Konecny sung the praises of Claude Giroux, who started the whole sequence.

"Everyone looks at the play when the goal happened, but it was one of the nicest plays that G has ever made was that play,” Konecny said. “It is such a heads-up play to lay the puck into an area like that."

Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting new career highs across the board.

Meanwhile, the new line of van Riemsdyk, Giroux and Konecny has starred in two games. Suffice it to say Giroux will be staying at center for at least a little longer.

• Jakub Voracek has looked like a force for a lengthy stretch.

Over his last 28 games going back to Nov. 23, the 30-year-old winger has put up 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) and a plus-14 rating.

Nobody can get on him for his defense right now. If you’ve watched, you’ve seen him skate, forecheck and make plays in the offensive zone on a nightly basis.

“Jake is coming on, like he tends to do,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said last Tuesday. “I remember when I got the job here last year, they were talking about how Jake was struggling and he had a pretty big second half, so he seems to be finding his legs.”

• Since returning from core muscle surgery, Sidney Crosby had eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games, while Evgeni Malkin had gone scoreless only twice over his last 19 games, a stretch in which he had put up 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists).

The Flyers held both stars scoreless and to only three shots.

• Brian Elliott has won three straight with 83 saves on 87 shots.

He has been terrific in Carter Hart’s absence.

Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, who entered 11-3-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .929 save percentage over his last 15 games, made 27 saves on 29 shots.

• Kevin Hayes has been a treat to watch on the penalty kill. Instead of quickly clearing the puck, which allows the opposing power play to restart, the 6-foot-5 center will often hold onto the puck to milk more seconds and force the opposition to take it away from him.

The strategy worked perfectly in the first period against the Penguins.

Since 2016-17, Hayes is fourth among all NHL players in shorthanded points with 14 (seven goals, seven assists), behind only Brad Marchand (17), Michael Grabner (16) and William Karlsson (15).

With each game, we’re seeing more and more why.

• Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins and catcher J.T. Realmuto took in the rivalry showdown.

Konecny will represent the Flyers at the NHL All-Star festivities this weekend in St. Louis.

The Flyers are off until next Thursday when they practice at 2 p.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before visiting the Penguins that Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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Kevin Hayes hooks up Jakub Voracek with 'Big Hayes-y 13' shirt

Kevin Hayes hooks up Jakub Voracek with 'Big Hayes-y 13' shirt

Kevin Hayes had the support of his teammates on and off the ice Friday night.

The Flyers' 5-2 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center featured some intense and feisty moments.

After all, it was a rivalry game in late February between Philly and New York. To add spice to the storyline, Hayes played parts of his first five NHL seasons for the Rangers before they parted ways with the center at last season's trade deadline.

Hayes, who is proud to call Philadelphia his new home and for the next seven years, didn't take long to become a leader in the Flyers' dressing room.

Just look at the reaction from his teammates late in the second period Friday night when Hayes and Brendan Lemieux started scuffling.

After the game, Voracek showed love for Hayes — and his new brew. Following a four-assist performance, Voracek rocked a "Big Hayes-y 13" shirt from his pal.

On Friday night, Yards Brewing Company released a beer called the “Big Hayes-y 13” in salute to No. 13.

“He gave it to me," Voracek said. "I made sure he didn’t give it to anybody else. I think I’m the right person to kind of wear it — I deserve this.”

Has Voracek had a cold “Big Hayes-y 13” yet?

“I didn’t try it," he said. "I want to, though."

Yards Brewing Company on Spring Garden St. will have to hook up Voracek.

“After the games, one or two cold beers doesn’t hurt anyone," Voracek said.

“I enjoy that place.”

If it has those shirts, it'll have to hook up Flyers fans with some.

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Flyers add to their growing list of statement wins by thumping Rangers

Flyers add to their growing list of statement wins by thumping Rangers

Updated: Saturday, 12:45 a.m.

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have made their fair share of statements this season.

They added to the list Friday night with a convincing 5-2 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

New York had been rolling and gaining steam in the playoff race. The Rangers entered 9-1-0 over their last 10 games and had won nine straight on the road.

The Flyers stemmed the tide significantly.

Who better than Kevin Hayes to punctuate the party with a third-period goal.

The Flyers (37-20-7) have matched their season-best win streak of five. Since Jan. 8, they're 15-5-1 with an NHL-high 77 goals. Over that stretch, the Flyers have 31 points, tied with the Lightning and Bruins for most in the league.

The Rangers (35-25-4) have dropped both meetings with the Flyers thus far by a combined score of 10-3.

• A massive win on multiple fronts.

The Flyers have jumped the Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh lost Friday night to the Ducks, 3-2.

Just as important, the Flyers pushed away the Rangers a bit more, while improving to 13-4-4 within the Metro division, which is the deepest in the NHL.

• The Flyers completely flipped the game in a span of 2:05 during the second period. James van Riemsdyk finished a juicy rebound to seize a 2-1 lead before Claude Giroux turned and fired a filthy shot top shelf to put the Flyers in the driver's seat.

The Flyers sped away in the third period.

• Giroux and Jakub Voracek, the Flyers' household names, looked like the vintage duo in a rivalry game.

Voracek collected four assists to give him 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists) and a plus-16 mark over the last 42 games.

Giroux had some real giddyap in his step, scored two goals, won 13 faceoffs and is on a 14-point run through the past 10 games.

Sean Couturier registered a goal and an assist ... ho-hum.

• Carter Hart improved to 18-2-2 at home.

The 21-year-old has been lights out in front of his fans, allowing two or fewer goals in 18 of his 22 home games.

Alexandar Georgiev, the Rangers' 24-year-old netminder, is 1-3-0 in four career games against the Flyers.

• Derek Grant, acquired at Monday's trade deadline, played well as his role increased.

He's another big body that can win important faceoffs and be tough to play against.

Grant won seven draws and played 15-plus minutes.

Another role player Scott Laughton had two more assists and was all over the place.

• Hayes is 2-0-0 against the Rangers this season. He returns to Madison Square Garden Sunday.

"I couldn't be more excited to be here in Philly, to start a new chapter in my NHL career where I have the security to be somewhere for a long term," Hayes said in September. "In New York, my longest contract was two years, the last three years it was trade bait basically every year."

• During a 1-1 game in the second period, a laughable penalty was called on Philippe Myers. The Flyers killed it off and then swung the momentum in their favor.

• Chris Kreider, the Rangers' third-leading goal scorer who signed a seven-year, $45.5 million extension Monday, suffered a fractured foot during the first period.

That's huge news. The Flyers play New York twice more over the final 18 games.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Saturday at noon in Voorhees, New Jersey, before heading to New York to play the Rangers Sunday (12 p.m. ET/NBC).

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