James O'Brien

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 29:  Steve Mason #35 and Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate the win over the Boston Bruins on November 29, 2016 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 in an overtime shootout.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Getty

Steve Mason and the Flyers are still on fire

8 Comments

As bumpy as the ride has been for the Florida Panthers lately, everything seems to be coming up Philadelphia Flyers.

Despite suffering a 44-25 shots on goal disadvantage, the Flyers managed to beat the Panthers 3-2 in overtime as Jakub Voracek scored with just seconds remaining in OT. With that, the Flyers have now rattled off a six-game winning streak.

The ingredients feel awfully familiar:

Mason is now on a five-game winning streak of his own. He’s allowed two goals or fewer in each of these contests. For the second time during this stretch, Mason needed to make more than 40 saves to secure the victory.

  • Voracek is helping to author some magic beyond regulation.

Earlier in the streak, he set up Claude Giroux‘s emphatic overtime game-winner. This time around, Voracek was the one doing the sniping:

  • Pardon the cliche, but the Flyers are “finding ways to win.” In Tuesday’s case, Wayne Simmonds‘ two goals absolutely factored into the victory, and the Flyers have flexed their muscles on plenty of occasions during this nice run.

Two of these five wins came in overtime, with one other coming via a shootout. The most they’ve won by was two goals, which they managed twice. They were out-shot in three of the five wins.

***

Earlier this season, the Flyers seemed to win despite their goaltending. Chalk it up to a wake-up call from Michal Neuvirth getting hurt or any number of other factors, but all of a sudden, Mason is looking like the guy who was quietly carving out quite a place for himself in Philly.

It could make for a very tough team to beat.

Related: Mason was just named the NHL’s first star of the week. Also, click here for more background on this Flyers run.

Injuries starting to pile up for Rangers with Nash, Puempel now hurt

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Hocke Player Rick Nash attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty
3 Comments

When people wonder what might derail the New York Rangers after a surprisingly strong start to the season, many believe that the team will just see a drop in “puck luck.”

Maybe injuries will be the issue, instead?

That thought has to be in the heads of a few Rangers fans on Tuesday, as the injuries continue to pile up for their forward group in particular.

In the same game, Rick Nash (lower-body injury) and Matt Puempel (took a high-stick, so upper-body injury, though the Rangers didn’t specify) both left with issues and will not return against the New York Islanders.

The Rangers were already without the likes of Mika Zibanejad and Michael Grabner, so this is a tough stretch of time for the Blueshirts.

This team is lauded for its forward depth, so we’ll see if they can continue to roll with all of these punches.

Update: The Islanders ended up beating the Rangers 4-2, so a bad day overall for Alain Vigneault & Co. The Isles, meanwhile, are winners of four of their last five games.

Video: Philip Larsen taken off on stretcher after hit by Taylor Hall

14 Comments

The New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks are only halfway through their game on Tuesday, yet there have already been two very scary moments.

In the first period, Devils forward Travis Zajac was bloodied after falling face-first into the boards. During the second, Philip Larsen needed to leave the ice on a stretcher after a frightening fall following a hit by Taylor Hall.

As unsettling as Zajac’s situation is, Larsen’s might be even more frightening. Many believe that Larsen was knocked unconscious before he hit the ice.

You can see it in video form, but here’s a GIF from Stephanie Vail in case that is your preference:

That’s tough to watch. PHT will keep an eye out for updates regarding Larsen’s condition.

Update: The Canucks announced that Larsen was alert and responsive on the ice after the hit. He has been taken to a hospital.

Video: Travis Zajac bloodied after face-first crash to boards

3 Comments

A crash into the boards can be one of the most dangerous falls in hockey, especially when you can’t brace yourself for the impact.

That happened in one of the worst ways possible for New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac on Tuesday, as he went face-first into the boards during a game against the Vancouver Canucks.

It’s too early to tell for sure what kind of condition Zajac is in, but it was easy – and unsettling – to see how much he was bleeding from the fall.

The Devils aren’t too happy that the Canucks ended up with a 5-on-3 power play after the hit and subsequent reactions, yet most of all, they must be worried about the veteran forward.

It’s quietly been a great season for Zajac, too, who had 20 points in 24 games coming into Tuesday, including five points (hat trick one night, two assists the next) in his previous two games. NHL.com’s Mike Morreale shared a scary screen grab of the moment of impact:

Yikes. Here’s hoping it all looked worse than it actually ended up being.

Update: Not only did Zajac return to the game, he picked up an assist. Hockey players, everyone.

So much for being out for a while: Keith Yandle is in for Panthers

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Keith Yandle #3 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 20, 2016 in New York City. The Panthers defeated the Rangers 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

Here’s some good news for a Florida Panthers team that can use it: Keith Yandle‘s injury isn’t so bad, after all.

Or, failing that, the blueliner is just flat-out tough.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Panthers indicated that Yandle would be out for “a while” with a lower-body injury. It looked like his ironman streak would end at 578 games.

Nope. Instead, he’s playing against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, his 578th consecutive contest.

Yandle has his critics (as many puck-moving defensemen do), yet moments like these should help him gain a little respect.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Yandle won’t face a setback and miss time in the long run. It will be interesting to see what kind of minutes he deals with. Will the Panthers limit his involvement or throw him right in the deep end tonight? We’ll find out very soon.