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5 observations: Martin Jones, Kevin Hayes key Flyers’ stunning shootout (!) win in NY

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Owen Tippett, Philadelphia Flyers
Right winger Owen Tippett scored his first goal Sunday in eight games since the Flyers acquired him from Florida.

In one of their most unlikely victories of the season, the Flyers jolted the powerful New York Rangers in a shootout, 4-3, at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

For that, they can thank Martin Jones and Kevin Hayes.

The Flyers won in a shootout!

Jones, a 32-year-old goaltender, stopped 43 of 46 shots through overtime, then was a perfect 3 for 3 in the shootout.

Hayes had the decisive goal on a deft shot in the shootout to beat his ex-team.

Before Hayes’ goal, Flyers shooters were 0 for 18 in shootouts this season.

The Flyers won in a shootout!

“It’s definitely been a long year, personally and team-wise,” Hayes said. “We’re just trying to finish off these 15 games the right way, set a culture for next year.”

The Flyers (22-36-11), who had been 0-4 in shootouts this season and a league-worst 54-96 in franchise history, won for just the second time in their last 18 road games.

The Rangers (44-20-6) suffered their second straight loss despite a 46-26 shots advantage.  New York had an 86-37 domination in shot attempts.

Here are five observations:

1. Flyers have another late meltdown before regrouping.

The Flyers had another third-period collapse as they blew a 3-0 lead.

But they did kill a penalty late in regulation and regrouped.

The Blueshirts tied game at 3-3 as Mika Zibanejad and Andrew Copp scored 12 seconds apart late in the third period. Copp knotted it with 4:20 left.

“We had a couple mistakes that turned into goals, but I thought we resettled and regrouped and did a good job,” interim coach Mike Yeo said.

Yeo said “things got away from us” during that late sequence, which started on a neutral-zone miscue by Rasmus Ristolainen. “We have to get more experienced, get more comfortable playing in those situations,” Yeo said.

Earlier in the third, Joel Farabee took a crafty feed from Travis Sanheim to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead with 19:16 left in regulation. But Artemi Panarin (15 shot attempts) scored on a deflection 38 seconds later to get the Rangers within 3-1.

2. Martin Jones, of all people, kept the Madison Square Garden crowd quiet until late in the game.

Jones, the Philadelphia Flyers’ backup goaltender, protected a 2-0 lead with big-time stops on point-blank attempts by Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin early in the second period.

The Flyers carried that 2-0 lead into the third period despite being outshot, 32-16. In the first 40 minutes, the Rangers had a 57-23 domination in shot attempts.

With the Flyers holding a 3-1 lead and 14:25 left in the third, Jones made what appeared to be his biggest save of the night as he stopped Copp on a shorthanded breakaway.

That was before the Rangers rallied, but Jones was perfect in the shootout and was the main reason the Flyers notched their second road win in 2022.

3. Owen Tippett gets off the schneid.

Since being acquired as part of the mega-deal that sent Claude Giroux to Florida, Tippett has had his shots and quality chances, but he has also had his share of bad luck. If a goalie wasn’t making a big save, Tippett had a knack for hitting iron — three times in his first seven games with the Flyers.

On Sunday, he made a slick move to get around a defender and beat Igor Shesterkin from the low slot to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead with 13:16 left in the opening period.

After Jones made a big save down the other end, Hayes set up Tippett off the rush and he scored his first goal in eight games with Philly.

“When it finally goes in, it’s a special feeling, for sure,” said Tippett, who was denied on two second-period breakaways.

Perhaps in an effort to get Tippett going, Yeo put the right winger on a line with Hayes and James van Riemsdyk.

Tippett said the chemistry will come “in time,” That said, the trio looked extremely comfortable in their first game together.

4. Cam York is making a difference while playing his “off” side.

Give York credit. The 21-year-old from Cali has put in a lot of work to learn how to play the right side because he has been on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov.

He has been steady and has enabled Provorov to take  more offensive chances, and York gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead when his point drive got past Shesterkin with 14:06 to go in the period.

“He’s super easy to play with,” York said. “I’m not used to playing the right side that much, but he makes it easy on me — and we try to play in the O zone as much as we can.”

York and Provorov also contributed four blocked shots in the crazy win.

5. Kevin Hayes continues to shine.

The 29-year-old center has obviously healed from his groin injury and looks like the player who excelled two years ago. He had an assist, helped set up two breakaways, played tireless defense, and won 67% of his faceoffs.

Oh, and had the game-winner in the shootout.

“For me, that was one of Hayesy’s better games that I’ve seen all year,” Yeo said. “He was just all over the ice.”

“I feel better and better pretty much every day,” Hayes said.

Since returning to the lineup, Hayes has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 15 games.

That’s a good sign for next season, when Sean Couturier and Hayes are expected to be the top two centers. Couturier has missed most of the season because of back surgery.

Breakaways

Farabee (16th goal) has five goals and 10 points in his last 10 games. … Patrick Brown had five hits and was 5 for 8 on faceoffs. … Defenseman Nick Seeler missed the game with a leg injury and was replaced by Kevin Connauton. … The Flyers host the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, then play in Columbus on Thursday.

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