Flyers lose to Rangers in shootout in return from COVID-19 pause

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PHILADELPHIA — The New York Rangers won for the first time in five games, 3-2 in a shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

It was the Flyers’ first game since a 7-4 win at the Washington Capitals on Feb. 7. They had four games postponed because of NHL COVID-19 protocols.

Colin Blackwell and Brendan Smith scored for New York (5-7-3), which was 0-3-1 in its previous four games. Alexandar Georgiev made 20 saves.

Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko scored in the shootout for the Rangers. Panarin returned after being out the previous two games with a lower-body injury.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Joel Farabee scored for Philadelphia (8-3-3). Carter Hart made 30 saves. Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers in the shootout.

Philadelphia was missing six players on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list, including top-six forwards Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek.

Farabee knocked in a loose puck in the crease to tie the game 2-2 with 1:14 remaining in the third period and Hart pulled for the extra attacker.

Smith put the Rangers ahead 2-1 at 8:21 of the third with his first goal since Dec. 6, 2019.

Blackwell tied it 1-1 at 3:24 of the second period with a power-play goal when he tipped a Pavel Buchnevich shot from inside the blue line.

Hart made a save on a Pavel Buchnevich penalty shot attempt with 3:19 left in the second to keep the game tied.

Aube-Kubel gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 59 seconds into the first period when he poked in the rebound of a Michael Raffl shot.

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