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Flyers vs. Rangers recap: Shootouts are cool again

The Flyers follow up their comeback win over Boston with the most exciting game of the year, a shootout victory over the rival New York Rangers.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years, the New York Rangers have been the personal tormentor of the Philadelphia Flyers, taking them apart in both the regular season and the postseason. But tonight, the Rangers received their first look at the Dave Hakstol-coached Flyers, and they did not find their rivals so accommodating.

In a back-and-forth contest that featured 87 shots on goal, the Flyers survived a frenetic three-on-three overtime and topped the Rangers in a shootout, winning by a score of 3-2. Claude Giroux and Sam Gagner scored in the skills competition, and Steve Mason shut the door on Dominic Moore to preserve the victory.

From the start, the tempo of the game was quick and the teams were sharp. Mark Streit kicked off the scoring with a slapshot blast from the point midway through the first period, but J.T. Miller quickly responded as he pounced on a loose puck in front of Steve Mason to tie the game at one.

The second period featured more of the same in terms of action, but was marred by a scary Michael Raffl injury. Raffl took an inadvertent elbow from Jarret Stoll and then apparently collapsed on the bench following his shift. The Flyers winger was able to make his way to the locker room, but only with the help of multiple Flyers staff members. He missed the rest of the game with an "upper-body injury."

After trading goals in the second period, the Flyers took full control in the third. Philadelphia outshot the Rangers 18-9, and won the scoring chances battle 15-10. Only a predictably stellar performance by Henrik Lundqvist allowed the Rangers to push the game to a 3-on-3 overtime, where both teams had their chances to end the game before a shootout. Sam Gagner's breakaway in OT nearly gave the Flyers the win, as he fooled Lundqvist but could not put the puck into the wide open net.

The shootout has long been a scourge of the Flyers, but tonight, two highlight reel goals by Giroux and Gagner proved enough to give Philadelphia a well-earned victory over the hated Rangers. With the win, the Flyers move to 4-2-1 leading into a Tuesday clash with the Buffalo Sabres at home.

Morning observations and analysis from last night's game can be found here.

Comment of the Night

Shouldn't the "Orange Line" be brought to you by SEPTA?

>> Bud in TN