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Flyers Notes: Risto to Rescue; Cutter Gauthier Shines

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Rasmus Ristolainen, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen helped the Flyers rally past the Kings, 4-2, on Saturday in L.A. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers have two straight wins for the first time in nearly two months, and defenserman Rasmus Ristolainen played an important role in the latest victory Saturday.

Ristolainen blocked six shots, collected four hits, and had an assist on Noah Cates’ game-winning, shorthanded goals as the Flyers rallied past the Kings, 4-2, in Los Angeles.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ristolainen, who was plus-1 in the victory, has played better since being taken off the No. 1 pairing.

John Tortorella wasn’t talking specifically about Ristolainen, but he was one of the players who fit the coach’s post-game assessment.

“We play hard,” he said. “We may not do the right things at certain times, and may have struggles here and there. But we play hard. And I think if you continue to do that, you find a way to get some results.”

The Flyers (13-17-7) will aim for their third straight win when they play Monday in Anaheim (10-23-4). Only Chicago (8-23-4) has fewer points than the Ducks.

Philly has not won three in a row since it started the season with victories over New Jersey, Vancouver, and Tampa Bay.

Cates’ big night

Cates (two points) ended a 20-game goal-less drought with his shorthanded goal, which snapped a 2-2 tie with 6:59 left.

He is the only NHL rookie with a short-handed goal this season.

Per NHL Stats, Cates is just the fifth rookie in franchise history to record his first career SHG as a game-winner. The others; Matt Read in 2011, Dave Poulin in 1983, and Jim Johnson and Dick Cherry in 1969.

The Flyers are tied for the NHL lead with seven shorthanded goals this season. They have five shorties over their last six games.

Gauthier, USA roll

Flyers prospect Cutter Gauyjier had an assist, five shots, and a plus-4 rating Saturday as Team USA whipped Finland, 6-2, in the World Juniors.

Jimmy Snuggerud, drafted in the first round (No. 23 overall) by St. Louis in July, had four points as the Americans clinched Group B. The United States will meet Germany in Monday’s quarterfinals.

Breakaways

Defenseman Cam York has five assists in his last six games. … Tony DeAngelo has a four-game point strike, collecting eight points (3-5) in that span. … James van Riemsdyk, who has increased his trade value, has 10 points (3-7) in his last nine games. … Owen Tippett leads the Flyers with four power-play goals. Overall, he ranks second on the team with 12 goals, behind only Travis Konecny (18).

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