Take that, Philadelphia. The New York Rangers have reclaimed
control of the series.
Right winger Martin St. Louis and defenseman Dan Girardi each had a
goal and assist, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and the
Rangers beat the Flyers 4-1 on Tuesday night in Game 3 of their
first-round playoff series.
Center Derek Stepan also scored a goal as the Rangers took a 2-1
series lead. Game 4 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series
is Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
"We knew coming in this building was going to be loud. It's a great
atmosphere," Girardi said. "We just played a lot harder than we did
in Game 2 and that shows through desperation."
Defenseman Mark Streit had the only goal for the Flyers, who spotted
the Rangers a 2-0 lead for the second straight game. They could not
rally the way they did at Madison Square Garden in a 4-2 win on
Goalie Ray Emery made his third straight start for injured Steve
Mason but was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Mason,
who was healthy enough to be the backup for the first time since
suffering an upper-body injury on April 12, made three saves in the
Flyers coach Craig Berube said he will choose his starter in the
next couple of days.
"I'm sure he wants a couple back," Berube said of Emery.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead just 3:54 into the first period when
Stepan scored on a rebound after Emery failed to catch left winger
Rick Nash's slap shot from the left circle. The puck bounced off
Emery's glove and right to Stepan in front, and he flipped it in for
his second goal of the series.
St. Louis scored his second goal in three games to put New York up
2-0 midway through the first. Girardi fired a slap shot from the
point that St. Louis deflected on a backhand.
"That line obviously set the tone," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault
said. "They made really good plays. In the playoffs, you need the
top guys to play at a high level."
Emery stoned center Brian Boyle on a breakaway to keep it 2-0 late
in the first. Boyle's shot hit Emery's chest and bounced off the
Streit scored shortly afterward during a four-on-four to cut it to
2-1. He pinched into the offensive zone on a rush, took a perfect
pass from right winger Jakub Voracek and wristed it past Lundqvist.
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Girardi blasted a one-timer from the right point over Emery's
shoulder to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead early in the second period.
Carcillo skated onto the ice in time to score on a breakaway to make
it 4-1 in the third period. The left winger and former Flyer enjoyed
sticking it to the fans who used to cheer for him.
"It was a good moment for him," Vigneault said.
The Rangers were outstanding defensively in a gritty, physical
contest between the longtime rivals. New York killed off all four of
Philadelphia's power plays and blocked an astounding 28 shots.
"We have to get the pucks through, even move it sideways," Flyers
defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "We have to watch tape and find a way
to get them through. We have to find a way to move it around
NOTES: The Rangers led the Eastern Conference with 25 road wins
during the regular season. ... The Flyers have a goal from a
defenseman in each game of the series. ... The Flyers committed six
penalties in each of the first two games but killed off nine of New
York's 12 power plays. ... RW Martin St. Louis had one goal in 19
regular-season games for the Rangers after being acquired from Tampa
Bay before the trade deadline. He already has more goals in the
playoffs. ... Flyers C Claude Giroux did not have a shot in the
first two games. ... Flyers RW Steve Downie (upper body) remained
out of the lineup. ... Rangers LW Chris Kreider (hand) also was out.
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