After Flyers defeated the NHL’s top Rangers John Tortorella send brutal announcement to the Flyers…

The Flyers defeated the NHL’s top Rangers after giving up nine goals: “We have that to rely on.”
After giving up 9 goals, Flyers beat NHL-best Rangers: 'We can lean on that'  - Yahoo Sports

Standing in the bowels of Madison Square Garden, outside the Flyers’ locker room, John Tortorella admitted the reality for his beleaguered club.

“We’re out of time, right?” the head coach said. “This is it. This can extend it or you’re pretty much done. … I just want to see who can step up and try to lead the way.”

He got some answers.

With their playoff hopes fleeting, the Flyers flipped the script for at least one night. They halted a season-worst eight-game losing streak by knocking off the NHL-leading Rangers, 4-1, Thursday night.

“We talked about how we’ve played this year — not as individuals, but winning games as a team,” Tortorella said. “That was probably one of our better team games we’ve played in quite a while. It helps to score some goals, too. It takes pressure off our goalie.

“It’s good it happens this way, as far as a team game. And we can lean on that for another couple of games here and see where we go.”

It was a total one-eighty for the Flyers (37-32-11), who had just given up nine goals two nights ago in the worst loss of the Tortorella era.

Cam York, Bobby Brink, Travis Konecny and Noah Cates provided the Flyers’ goals Thursday night.

“We’re back to being the underdogs, kind of where people thought we were at are counting us out,” Cates said. “Back to kind of where we feel comfortable. Playing against one of the top teams in the league, everyone’s doubting us and we stepped up and had a great effort.”

Tortorella’s club had been outscored a ghastly 42-18 over its eight-game losing streak. It was the Flyers’ longest skid since last season, when they dropped 10 in a row during November.

The Flyers went 1-2-1 in their four-game regular-season series with the Rangers (53-23-4).

New York is atop the NHL with 110 points and is trying to nail down first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Prior to this win, the Flyers had lost nine of their last 10 meetings with the Rangers (1-6-3) going back to 2021-22.

• The Flyers entered Thursday with a 2.3 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to’s probabilities report.

They came in desperately chasing the Islanders, Capitals, Penguins and Red Wings. All four clubs were in action Thursday night and all four have played one fewer game than the Flyers.

The Islanders hold third place in the Metropolitan Division and the Penguins took over the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Pittsburgh is one point up on the Capitals, Red Wings and Flyers. Here’s the latest in the standings.

“I just want them to succeed,” Tortorella said of his club at morning skate. “I want them to get back in a win column to make this interesting with two games left. I’m frustrated for them.”

The Flyers’ final two games are at home. They face the Capitals in their regular-season finale.

• In the morning, Tortorella said the Flyers had completely lost themselves from a structure standpoint the last two games. They were outscored a combined 15-5 by the Blue Jackets and Canadiens.

“I think they’re trying so hard that we’re kind of just not seeing things,” he said. “I think when you try so hard, you don’t let the game come to you. I think the biggest point for us is to let the game come to us but have the proper intensity to find a way to get two points.”

After surrendering the most goals they’ve ever given up in Tortorella’s two years here, the Flyers were a different team against the NHL’s best. They looked like the team that held down third place for over two months before falling into its eight-game spiral.

Samuel Ersson converted 24 saves on 25 shots. He made a huge save in the final seconds of the opening stanza to keep the game tied at 1-1.

Brink and Ryan Poehling rewarded their goalie when they connected for a go-ahead goal 3:29 minutes into the second period.Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers,  Ottawa Senators - Canes Country

The Rangers cracked Ersson 1:41 minutes before first intermission when they cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play. The Flyers committed too many penalties but their penalty kill went 3 for 4.

As we noted earlier this week, the Flyers really needed their rookie goaltending tandem to help them stabilize. The 24-year-old Ersson has appeared in 30 of the Flyers’ last 36 games. He was excellent in this one.

“He did an awesome job,” Konecny said. “We were trying to give him a chance tonight by playing better in front of him.”

In his previous 12 starts, Ersson had recorded a 4.59 goals-against average, an .835 save percentage and been pulled four times.

“You can use it as motivation,” Ersson said. “It’s not fun delivering a game like last game, so you want to bounce back. I think I did and it was well-needed.”

New York netminder Jonathan Quick stopped 23 of the Flyers’ 27 shots.

• Considering they had just one first-period goal over the previous eight games and had fallen behind 2-0 in five of those games, the Flyers could not afford a poor start against the Rangers.

Konecny gave them the start they needed. At the end of a long shift, he made an excellent play to find York for the game-opening goal. The Flyers’ All-Star showed plenty of emotion after York fired home the puck.

In many ways, Konecny is the heartbeat of the Flyers. He had a swagger to him Thursday night.

The 27-year-old buried his career-high 32nd goal with 47 seconds left in the second period to cushion the Flyers’ lead to 3-1.

“We had a great meeting with the players and with the coaches,” Konecny said. “We all knew the objective tonight.”

• The Flyers are back home Saturday to host the Devils (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Wayne Simmonds, who retired in March, will be honored before the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *