The Flyers’ 2-1 victory over the injury-riddled New York Rangers on Thursday night was inartistic and, quite frankly, a bit lucky.
But, hey, when you are off to the worst start in franchise history, you don’t care about style points.
The Flyers escaped with a win because goalie Steve Mason was again terrific, beaten only when a Ranger shot deflected off the leg of Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.
They won because Coburn made amends by scoring what proved to be the game-winner, because Matt Read netted the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season, and because NHL officials in Toronto disallowed a Rangers goal _ even though it did NOT appear that J.T. Miller used a distinct kicking motion to put it in the net.
As he sat in the penalty box while NHL officials reviewed the goal in Toronto, Flyers captain Claude Giroux was in a prayerful mood.
“I was talking to my friend upstairs,” Giroux said.
The goal was disallowed with 14:24 left, and the Flyers maintained their 2-1 lead.
The Flyers, who played their first game in a week, are now 2-7. They became the first NHL team to fail to score at least three goals in any of their first nine games since the Boston Bruins did it in 1964.
But, again, they hope the win is a baby step toward respectability.
“When you’re off a week, a lot of the time you can be rusty with the puck. I thought that was the case early in the game,” coach Craig Berube said. “…I still think that offensively we are not where we have to be. We do not put enough consistent pressure on the other team. We get some chances, but we need to have a little bit more fight with the puck. Win some more battles, keep some more zone time. Defensively, I thought we were pretty solid tonight.”
The Flyers have been tied, ahead by a goal, or down by a goal in all nine games.
They were in a 1-1 tie heading into Thursday’s third period, and won it on Coburn’s goal early in the stanza.
“I think playing with a lead, we have to create more offense still and get in their zone,” Read said. “We can’t score from our own zone, so we have to keep going, but we finally won a game (that was tied) going into the third period and it feels good.”
Breakaways. Including the end of last season, Giroux is goal-less in his last 15 games, the longest streak in his career. His longest goal-less streak in the same season: 13, from March 11 to April 2, 2010….Vinny Lecavalier returned to the lineup after missing three games and had four shots and three hits in 20:46….Coburn has the game-winning goals in both Flyers victories….Nick Grossmann blocked a game-high four shots….The Flyers are 1 for their last 25 on the power play. They were 0 for 4 Thursday and had eight shots in 11 power-play minutes….The Flyers play at the Islanders on Saturday night.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.