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JVR powers Flyers to 3-2 win over Rangers

Two goals and one possibly broken facial bone later for the Flyers’ net front presence.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

James van Riemsdyk scored twice and Brian Elliott made 33 saves on 35 shots as the Flyers beat the Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. Jake Voracek’s tally in the third proved to be the game-winner as the Flyers fought off a rough first 30 minutes to rally to a regulation win that effectively kills the Rangers’ already slim playoff hopes.

Early chance for the Rangers and Colin Blackwell, but Brian Elliott denied the backhand bid less than a minute in.

Wade Allison came up with a great chance for the Flyers on a spinning backhander himself, but Igor Sheskterkin’s pad had an answer as the clock winded towards five minutes in.

With 12:10 left in the first Philippe Myers would pick up another bad penalty in a season full of them to give the Rangers the power play chance. Odd moment on the power play as Alexis Lafreniere crashed into Elliott and just kind of laid there in the crease after falling down.

Just after the power play ended the Rangers struck first with Brendan Smith making it 1-0. But hey — at least it wasn’t a power play goal?

Armed with their first man-advantage of the night with a little less than seven minutes left in the period and the Flyers nearly gave up a league-leading eighth shorthanded goal, but the Rangers whiffed on an empty net.

Late in the frame Elliott came away with a pair of miraculous saves to keep the Flyers within one. The chances came after Sean Couturier feel down on a rush up ice the other way and spurned the Rangers on the other way.

After 20: Rangers 1, Flyers 0

It was all Rangers for the first quarter of the second as they hemmed the Flyers in their own end thanks to turnovers and poor clearing attempts — aka more of the same.

Just as the Flyers looked to be in trouble Claude Giroux led a shift of offensive attack culminating with a Myers bid to the chest of Shesterkin.

It’d lead to a Flyers power play on the ensuing shift, and a chance to even things up thanks to a Chris Kreider hooking call. It would be short-lived as Travis Konecny picked up a hooking call of his own to negate things.

Already having a stellar night, Elliott came up with his finest save as Artemi Panarin stared down an empty net but was met with the glove of the veteran netminder.

With 4:04 left in the second the Flyers scored a goal and also killed JVR on the same play. What a season — but it’s his goal and it’s 1-1.

Penalty shot alert for Joel Farabee with 54 seconds left in the frame, but Shesterkin swallowed up the attempt to deny of a go-ahead goal. It’s Farabee’s second failed penalty shot this year — not his strength.

After 40: Flyers 1, Rangers 1

Back and forth to start the third as both teams exchanged changes to take the lead but were met by strong goaltending.

The Flyers earned a power play thanks to Couturier with 11 minutes left in regulation after a hardworking shift that hemmed the Rangers in their own end with tired bodies.

Four minutes of power play time to work after the high stick drew blood on Couturier.

They’d cash in as JVR jumped off the trainers table and back onto the scoresheet with his second of the night to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 9:31 left in regulation. Two goals and one face shield for the Flyers’ net front presence.

Jake Voracek would extend the lead to 3-1 as the Flyers executed a 2-on-1 to perfection to start to ice the game away with 5:53 remaining. Good things happen when you shoot the puck, folks.

The Rangers removed their netminder with 2:04 left and searching for two goals of their own to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

And right on cue, they’d get one right back as Panarin fired one home just four seconds later to make it 3-2. Good traffic in front of Elliott to setup a wild finish.

They wouldn’t get another as Elliott held down the fort to preserve a hard-fought 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden.

Final: Flyers 3, Rangers 2