Rangers first to clinch playoff berth and hit 100 points in wild OT win over Flyers

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are going to the dance after outlasting the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 in overtime Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. An absolutely wild, goal-filled tilt is what it took to become the first team in the NHL to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and hit the 100-point mark.

Adam Fox’s goal 36 seconds into the extra period secured the checkmark for the Rangers and capped one of the strangest games in recent memory at The Garden.

“I’m sure it was exciting for the fans,” Fox told MSG Network after the win, the team’s third straight. “We’d definitely like to clean it up. A good effort to come back every time. We got goals when we needed them … but we’ll take the two points.”

The Rangers overcame a deficit and coughed up three leads of their own all in the third period. All told, the teams combined for seven goals in the final stanza, including a pair from Alexis Lafreniere.

“I liked some of them,” head coach Peter Laviolette laughed about the goal explosion. “The ones that weren’t ours I didn’t like very much. It was an off game for us, but I liked the fight in our guys.”

Laviolette earned his 800th career win as an NHL coach.

Related: Rookie Brandon Scanlin makes NHL debut

New York Rangers 6 vs Philadelphia Flyers 5 (OT)

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York was sleepwalking through the first 35 minutes and found themselves down a pair of goals before Mika Zibanejad’s power-play tally at 15:28 of the middle frame got the hosts going. The goal was assisted by Artemi Panarin, who became the seventh Ranger all-time and first since Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06 to reach 100 points in a season.

Jonny Brodzinski, who wasn’t supposed to play until Alex Wennberg was a late scratch for personal reasons, evened the score at 1:23, and Alexis Lafreniere gave the Rangers their first lead 1:34 later.

The Flyers answered back on a goal by Travis Konecny at 6:45 before Vincent Trocheck’s short-handed goal three minutes later put the hosts back on top.

The theme continued when Owen Tippett scored 2:11 after Trocheck to even the score again, 4-4. Lafreniere’s second of the night with 4:01 remaining would’ve held up to be the game-winner on most nights.

But Tuesday wasn’t most nights, as Philadelphia somehow scored again with 3:31 remaining to send the game to overtime before Fox’s 15th of the year finally put things to bed. Panarin added an assist on the winner, his third of the game, bringing his point total to 102 this season.

All in all, the Rangers were without Wennberg and three starting defensemen, leading to Brandon Scanlin skating 10:46 in his NHL debut. An impressive performance by a shorthanded club.

“We kept fighting,” Laviolette said. “I liked the fact that we were resilient for the win.”

The first goal of the season of qualifying for the postseason has been reached, but Fox said there’s still a lot at stake.

“For us, we’re still playing for points here” he said after being named the night’s first star. “We’re trying to get our game right and stay sharp.”

Next up, the Rangers begin a brief two-game road trip in Colorado against the Avalanche on Thursday.

Matt Calamia spent six seasons as a digital content producer and writer for the New York Rangers. Prior to... More about Matt Calamia

Mentioned in this article:

More About: