Thanks to two second-period goals, the Rangers earned a 2-1 win
Wednesday at Madison Square Garden to win the Metropolitan Division
New York improved to 6-0 on home ice in Game 7s.
The Rangers face the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in a six-game
series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, in the second round. New York
split four games against Pittsburgh in the regular season, winning
once at home and once on the road.
Left wingers Daniel Carcillo and Benoit Pouliot scored for the
Rangers. Right winger Jason Akeson struck for the Flyers in the
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in gaining his
34th career playoff victory. He is 4-1 in Game 7s, posting a 1.00
Flyers goalie Steve Mason recorded 31 saves.
Akeson cut the Rangers' lead to 2-1 early in the third period with
his second goal of the playoffs. His initial shot was blocked by
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal at the right circle, but the puck came
back to him, and he scored on a wrist shot at 4:32.
That was all the Flyers could manage despite spending a good deal of
the third period in the New York end and outshooting the Rangers
11-5 over the final 20 minutes.
"We knew (the Flyers) were going to push in the third, and they came
pretty hard, but the puck management was really good," Lundqvist
The Rangers outhit the Flyers in the second period and outshot them
"(New York) took it to us in the second period," said Mason. "We had
trouble breaking out of our own zone. They had odd-man rushes, and
we seemed to be spinning our legs.
"You look at the 60 minutes of the game, and the second period is
what really cost us."
Setting up the second goal, New York defenseman Anton Stralman kept
the puck in the Philadelphia zone from the right point, feeding it
to center Derick Brassard in the right corner. Brassard controlled
the puck and fired across the zone to Pouliot, who recorded his
second goal of the series at 11:46 for a 2-0 Rangers advantage.
Carcillo's second goal of the series provided the Rangers with a 1-0
lead. Center Mats Zuccarello slid a backhand pass across the goal
mouth from the right corner, and Carcillo snuck in for the one-timer
Carcillo, more known for his toughness than his goal-scoring, hadn't
skated in the series since Game 4. In 40 career playoff games, he
has 81 penalty minutes and just seven goals.
"(Carcillo) has won the Stanley Cup before (with Chicago last
season)," Zuccarello said. "He's one of those guys that you look to
for experience in the locker room. He's one of those guys that steps
up every time he's on the ice."
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The Flyers failed to capitalize on two second-period power plays. In
one sequence on the second man-advantage, New York defenseman Ryan
McDonagh blocked two shots 16 seconds apart.
"We played a really good second," said Rangers forward Brad
Richards, who finished the series with six points, tied with right
winger Martin St. Louis for the most on the club. "We just kept the
pace up, short shifts, everybody involved.
"We killed a couple of penalties, buried some goals. That just got
everyone in it, got the fans in it, and you could just see our legs
going. We took over that period."
Lundqvist said, "I think the forecheck was outstanding in the second
period, the way we put pressure on their D and they had a lot of
turnovers because of that. That is something we had the whole
series. We put a lot of pressure on them."
Philadelphia held an 11-10 advantage in shots on goal in a scoreless
first period. The Rangers' struggles on the power play continued in
the opening period. With Philadelphia forward Zac Rinaldo serving
two minutes for interference, the Rangers were unable to get a shot
New York last scored on the power play in Game 2.
NOTES: The Rangers won 11 of their past 12 regular-season and
playoff games against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden,
outscoring Philadelphia 43-17 during that time. ... New York
received goals from 11 different players in the series, while 17
skaters recorded a point. ... The Rangers' power play scored only
three goals in 29 chances in the series. ... Flyers D Hal Gill, who
was a minus-2 in Game 5, was scratched for Game 7. He was replaced
by D Erik Gustafsson. ... LW Daniel Carcillo replaced LW J.T. Miller
on the Rangers' third line. ... Flyers G Steve Mason's goals-against
average heading into Game 7 was 1.95, third best in the playoffs.
... Rangers D Dan Girardi skated in his 71st playoff game, the
fifth-highest total for the franchise.
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