The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers on Friday night to tie up their playoff series at two games apiece. The Flyers rode goals by Matt Read and Jakub Voracek and a 37 save performance by Steve Mason to a 2-1 victory.
The first period was rough for the Flyers. They were outshot 16-6 in the first period and were lucky to arrive at the intermission tied 1-1. The Flyers dominated the first few shifts and Zac Rinaldo drew a penalty on Dominic Moore. Two minutes later, immediately following his penalty, Moore put the Rangers up by a goal. Andrew MacDonald turned the puck over to Moore who blazed down the ice and around the net to beat a sprawling Mason.
However, the Flyers were able to get a goal back. About eight and a half minutes into the period Jason Akeson took the puck down the left wing. He took a shot on goal that ricocheted off of Kevin Klein’s foot and off of the boards behind the net. The puck came out on the right side of Henrik Lundqvist to Matt Read who tied the game.
The Flyers slowly but surely began tilting the ice back towards Lundqvist in the second period. Six minutes into the period Claude Giroux was tripped and then cross-checked by Dominic Moore. Moore went to the box for the cross-check and the Flyers had a power play.
In the midst of a power play line change Jakub Voracek got the puck deep into the Rangers zone and Jason Akeson made a nice play to keep possession. Akeson made a quick pass to Mark Streit who then sent a pass along the blue line to Brayden Schenn. Schenn found Voracek in front of the net to give the Flyers the lead.
The Flyers played a strong third period much like their third period in Game 2. The Flyers used their fore-check to neutralize the Rangers speed. The final two minutes saw a plethora of quality chances for the desperate Rangers, but they were not going to beat Steve Mason twice on this night.
– Steve Mason’s 37 save victory was the first playoff victory of his career. He earned 1st star honors.
– For years Flyers fans have watched the likes of Martin Brodeur and Dominik Hasek steal playoff games. Tonight we got to watch our own goalie steal one.
– In my opinion, Jakub Voracek (2 goals, 1 assist) and Jason Akeson (1 goal, 1 assist) have been the Flyers best forwards in this series.
– Nicklas Grossmann left the game with a lower body injury. It did not look good and he will likely miss Game 5.
– In Grossmann’s absence, his ice time was picked up by Braydon Coburn who played 25:27 and Kimmo Timonen who played 23:36.
– Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, and Mark Streit all played well tonight on the blue-line. Timonen and MacDonald seemed to struggle.
– Game 5 will be on Sunday at noon.