Flyers tasked with denying Rangers 10th straight win

The Philadelphia Flyers will look for their second straight victory on Saturday when they host the red-hot New York Rangers, who have won nine in a row.

The Flyers went on the road and defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Wednesday.

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, the Flyers continue to exceed expectations.

Travis Konecny scored one of the three goals to extend his points streak to seven. He has compiled 12 points — five goals, seven assists –during the streak.

“We talked between the periods, but to be honest, it wasn’t a clean game for us,” said Konecny, who has three goals in the last four games. “We did change a little bit, and we were able to get the lead and hold on to it, but we can definitely move on from that one and start fresh.”

The Flyers rebounded following a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils in a Stadium Series game Saturday in East Rutherford, N.J.

Garnet Hathaway and Travis Sanheim each added one goal and Samuel Ersson made 21 saves Wednesday.

It was Konecny’s stellar individual effort that catapulted the Flyers to a 2-1 lead at 3:15 of the second period. He skated in through traffic and fired a wrist shot to the far side of the net for his team-leading 27th goal. He also leads the team with 54 points.

“He kind of stutters with it in the neutral zone,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said of Konecny. “I thought he was going to lose it and he saw some ice. He has to concentrate on shift lengths.

“We’re always going to try and keep everyone accountable there. I’m never worried if he gets extended out there because he has such a great engine. He’s such a well-conditioned athlete.”

As for the Rangers, they dominated the host Devils 5-1 on Thursday to extend their winning streak to nine. Their longest win streak is 10 games, which was accomplished twice (1972-73 and 1939-40).

Alexis Lafreniere scored twice, Vincent Trocheck had one goal and one assist and Artemi Panarin contributed three assists.

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 39 shots for the Rangers, who have outscored their opponents 39-18 during the winning streak.

“When we’re at our best, we’re playing with speed and physicality,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “I think when we slow the game down and kind of try to go east-west too much, we’re getting on our toes and we’re playing physical, playing hard. It’s really not fun to play against us because we have the guys who can put the puck in the net, too.”

The Rangers’ defense continued to perform at a high level, killing off all five Devils power plays. When the Devils had good chances, Shesterkin was brilliant.

“It was a lot of special teams out there, and I thought the penalty kill did an unbelievable job,” Mika Zibanejad said. “It’s a team that can score. I thought we didn’t give them much. Maybe in the third a little bit, but overall I thought we did a really good job, and (Shesterkin) played great.”

Shesterkin made 16 saves in the first period alone, including five during a five-minute power play.

“The (penalty kill) was confident tonight, and the kills were good,” New York coach Peter Laviolette said. “We attacked everything that was a loose puck and really limited the opposition. It was a total group effort, and our guys were pretty physical.”

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