Advertisement

Lafrenière, Rempe help Rangers beat Flyers 2-1, tying franchise record with 10th straight win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alexis Lafrenière scored, Matt Rempe tallied his first career goal and got the Rangers going with another first-period fight and New York beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Saturday to tie a franchise record with its 10th straight victory.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 39 shots for the Rangers, who previously won 10 in a row during the 1972-73 and 1939-40 seasons. They can set a club mark for consecutive victories on Sunday at Columbus. The Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers have not lost since Jan. 26.

“It was good,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “It had a little bit of everything.”

Tyson Foerster scored for Philadelphia, which lost for just the third time in its last eight games. The Flyers entered in third place in the Metropolitan, 13 points behind New York. Samuel Ersson finished with 22 saves.

“We came out hard, we finished hard, needed a bounce here or there,” Philadelphia's Scott Laughton said. “Take a lot of positives out of it.”

Rempe, a 6-foot-7 rookie sixth-round pick playing in his fourth career game, scored the game-winner when Barclay Goodrow’s shot deflected off his right skate and past Ersson with 13:29 to play.

“He did exactly what he’s supposed to do, which is go to the front of the net and stand in front of the goaltender,” Laviolette said.

Just three minutes in, Philadelphia’s Nicolas Deslauriers and Rempe dropped the gloves in a heavyweight duel.

Both players landed heavy punches, with Deslauriers getting cut on the forehead by one of Rempe’s hard right hands. The fight ended with Deslauriers tackling Rempe to the ice.

“That’s a good, old-fashioned hockey fight,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said.

Laviolette added:,“That was a good one, for sure.”

The players jawed in the pregame warmups and it carried over to the game.

“He asked me in warmups,” Rempe said. “He's a real tough customer and said, ‘Let’s go.' It was a great fight. We were throwing bombs. It got the juices flowing, and it was unreal."

It has been quite a week for Rempe, who fought Islanders tough guy Matt Martin during his first shift in his NHL debut on Sunday in a Stadium Series game, and was ejected for a hit to the head of New Jersey’s Nathan Bastian in New York’s 5-1 victory over the Devils on Thursday.

Rempe entered with 22 penalty minutes in just 9:47 of ice time in three career games. The 33-year-old veteran Deslauriers is no stranger to the penalty box, having served 729 minutes in 635 games entering Saturday.

The scrap seemed to ignite both teams for the afternoon start and started quite a day for Rempe.

“He placed a heck of a game,” Laviolette said. “Had a great fight. Had big hits. Put the puck behind the defense. He’s been great since he’s been here. You can tell the players in the locker room love having him here. He loves to hit and be physical.”

Lafrenière gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 8:04 left in the second when his wrist shot got through Ersson during 4-on-4 play. It was his 17th of the season and third in two games.

The goal capped a wild sequence that began when Philadelphia’s Garnet Hathaway was whistled for a double-minor high-sticking penalty. Philadelphia, which entered leading the NHL with 13 short-handed goals and the league’s second-best penalty-kill unit, nearly got on the board, but Scott Laughton’s wrist shot that beat Shesterkin went off the crossbar.

Lafrenière almost scored on the power play two minutes after Laughton’s miss, but Ersson made the save of the game, denying the backhand try with a stellar left pad save. Philadelphia then nearly had another great short-handed chance, but Artemi Panarin held Cam Atkinson, resulting in a Rangers penalty and the 4-on-4 situation.

Philadelphia tied it 2:36 into the third when Foerster finished in front after a nifty pass from behind the net from Laughton.

Philadelphia leading scorer Travis Konecny did not play due to an upper-body injury. He has 27 goals and 54 points.

UP NEXT

Rangers: At Columbus on Sunday.

Flyers: At Pittsburgh on Sunday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Aaron Bracy, The Associated Press