Matt Rempe scores winner as Rangers tie franchise record with 10th straight victory

NHL: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

In a rabid, playoff-like atmosphere at Wells Fargo Center, the New York Rangers skated away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, extending their winning streak to 10 games.

That ties the longest winning streak in franchise history, accomplished twice before, in 1972-73 and 1939-40.

Matt Rempe stole the spotlight in the historic victory. Playing in his fourth NHL game, Rempe scored the game-winning goal at 6:31 of the third period after engaging in a wild fight three minutes into the game with Flyers forward Nicholas Deslauriers.

“It’s a very eventful first week in the NHL,” Rempe told ABC after the game.

Rempe’s goal came less than four minutes after Tyson Foerster had tied the game for the Flyers.

Igor Shesterkin was outstanding again for the Rangers, making 40 saves, and Alexis Lafreniere scored their other goal. New York leads the NHL with 39 wins this season.

Samuel Ersson was the hard-luck loser for the Flyers, finishing with 22 saves.

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Rangers extend winning streak to 10, edge Flyers 2-1

NHL: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers broke through first when Lafreniere scored his third goal in the past two games and sixth in the past 10 more than halfway through the game.

Skating 4-on-4, Lafreniere took a pass from Vincent Trocheck and wristed a shot between Ersson’s pads at 11:56 of the second period. The goal came 49 seconds after Lafreniere was robbed in tight on an incredible sprawling save by Ersson.

Shortly afterward, Kaapo Kakko hit the post as the 4-on-4 came to a close. Trocheck had also fired a shot off the post in the first period. The Flyers had one earlier in the second, as well, off the crossbar behind Shesterkin when they were short-handed.

Aside from shot attempts that caught iron, the Rangers outshot the Flyers 10-5 in the second period. That was a role reversal after the Flyers recorded 18 shots in the first period, compared to nine for the Rangers.

Shesterkin was extremely sharp in the opening period. His best stop came with less than two minutes remaining when he made a pad save on Joel Farabee’s open slam-dunk attempt.

The Flyers lived up to their name to start the third period. They were flying, putting the Rangers on their heels, tying the game at 2:36. Scott Laughton made a pretty pass falling to the ice behind the Rangers net. Foerster accepted the feed in the low slot and slid his 11th goal into the net with Shesterkin twisted up and out of position.

But the Rangers answered back at 6:31 and Rempe was the unlikely offensive hero. Braden Schneider’s shot from the left point was deflected on the way by Barclay Goodrow. The puck then hit Rempe, who was setting a screen in front of Ersson, and it rolled over the goal line.

“That’s unreal,” Rempe told ABC. “Probably the ugliest first goal in NHL history, but I’ll take it.”

Shesterkin made 17 saves in the third period, including a massive left-pad stop on Travis Sanheim’s 2-on-0 shorthanded break in the final minutes.

The Rangers goalie then caught a break when Sean Couturier pushed a shot off the post with the net wide open and five seconds remaining in regulation to cap the win.

Shesterkin has won his past six starts, and stopped 119 of 122 shots in his past three games.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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