No Travis Konecny, No Disturbance in New York – NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers were sorely missing Travis Konecny ​​in Saturday afternoon's 2-1 loss to the Rangers at Wells Fargo Center.

John Tortorella's club was a commendable opponent against one of the best teams in the NHL. But without the team's top scorer in all situations, his attack lacked finishing touch.

Konecny ​​is out for the first time this season with an upper-body injury. He left Friday's practice feeling uncomfortable. More on his situation here.

The Flyers (30-21-7) fall to 5-2-1 since the bye week and All-Star break.

Tyson Forrester scored the team's only goal on Saturday. The Flyers started a power play with 4:03 left in the game but failed to convert.

With the Flyers' net empty, Sean Couturier nearly tied the game in the final six seconds. His backhand shot from close range caught the iron.

The Flyers' lead over the Devils in the Metropolitan Division race was cut to five points. New Jersey beat the Canadiens 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. The Devils played one fewer game than the Flyers and came to Philadelphia in April for a head-to-head final.

New York, which has a 14-point lead over the Flyers, has won 10 straight.

The Flyers are 0-2-0 against the Rangers (39-16-3) in their regular season series. There are two matches remaining between the two teams, both in Madison Square Garden.

With Konecny, this was a game of measuring stick for pilots. Without Konecny, it would have been difficult and long.

“We played hard,” Tortorella said. “I know we played a good game.”

Since 2021-22, the Flyers have lost eight of their last nine meetings with New York (1-6-2) and have been outscored 29-13.

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It's no surprise that Rangers blue jerseys were all over the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. Last season, New York fans flocked to Philadelphia for a game in March. Afterward, Tortorella said, “I blame us,” that the organization needed to make home games a “tough ticket” again.

The recorded attendance on Saturday was 19,756.

With the progress the team has made, does Tortorella sense a return for Flyers fans?

“I want to get us to the place — and we're not there — where it's difficult to get in and play,” the head coach said Friday after practice. “I think one of the things we haven't quite figured out this year in our development is home ice. I think sometimes it's harder to play on home ice than it is to play on the road.

“But I want the building to be like that. I feel it, and you can feel it in the games. But I want it to be like that Grant, that people say, “Oh, this is a hard place to get into.” And the fans are a big part of that. I think we're on the right track to get there; “We still have a way to go.”

• The Flyers came out on top in the third period, needing just 2:36 to tie the game.

Scott Laughton extended his points streak to six games (two goals, five assists) with a curling pass to Forster.

But less than four minutes later, Rangers regained their lead. Matt Rempe got a piece of Barclay Goodreau's redirection for his first NHL goal.

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“The guys fought hard for each other,” Lawton said. “Take a lot of positives from it.”

• Samuel Ersson recorded 22 saves on 24 shots.

The 24-year-old was checked by the 6-foot-7 Rempe on New York's game-winner.

The Flyers hounded Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 39 of 40 shots.

The 2021-22 Vezina Trophy winner heard his first name chanted after fending off a shortened breakaway from Travis Sanheim. The Flyers fell behind 2-1 in the third period and threatened a dangerous penalty kill.

“Igor played great for them and made many big saves,” Ersson said. “It's a close game. As a goalkeeper, you know it's going to come down to one goal, one rebound here and there, so you get a little frustrated when you don't score an extra goal.” [save]”.

In the second period, with New York playing four minutes due to a high penalty from Garnet Hathaway, Lawton came close to giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead when he hit the post.

On that power play, Ersson made a great save on Alexis Lafreniere's shot. But when the game turned 4-on-4, Lafreniere beat Erson with a shot from the circle.

• Nicolas Deslauriers and Rempe dropped the gloves on the senior rookie's first shift of the game.

“I saw him lurking in the warm-up and I'm a guy who doesn't take no for an answer often,” Deslauriers said. “I politely went over and said, 'Are we going to do this?' This is the situation.”

Talk about a heavyweight bout. It was a fight that would make the bullies on Broad Street smile.

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“He's a really important guy for us,” Tortorella said of Deslauriers. “It's a good old-fashioned hockey battle out there.”

Once the punches finally settled, Deslaurier played to the crowd, which went wild just three minutes into the bout.

“I said to some of the guys afterward, 'That's the loudest I've ever heard,'” Deslauriers said. “Because during battles, you don't hear much. But after that, it was fun.”

Erson enjoyed watching Deslauriers go to work.

“He's an absolute animal, a warrior for us out there,” Erson said. “I don't want to fight him. You can feel the atmosphere in the building, and for us as a team, it gives us a lot of energy.”

• After missing the last four games with a right foot injury, Forster returned to the lineup.

The rookie winger made his presence felt with an equalizer and four shots.

Due to Konecny's absence, the Flyers had to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

• The Flyers are at it again on Sunday when they visit the Penguins (3:30 p.m. ET/TNT).

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