Talbot stopped 31 shots and right winger Rick Nash scored his
13th goal as the Rangers bested the Flyers 2-0 at Madison Square
Garden on Wednesday night.
The Flyers made a late push, pulling goaltender Steve Mason with
3:33 remaining in the third period for an extra attacker, but Talbot
slammed the door. Among his 11 third-period saves was a dandy on
left winger Brayden Schenn in the final minute to preserve his
fourth career shutout.
Talbot entered the contest with a 3.48 goals-against average and
.880 save percentage in four appearances, three of which were
"It's a little difficult knowing that I haven't really contributed
to the team much this year," Talbot said. "In my first three starts,
I've only gotten one point out of six. So to be able to come out
today and provide a big win after what's been a low stretch for us,
it's pretty big."
While the Rangers ended a three-game slide, the Flyers lost their
third straight by a combined 12-6.
The effort did not sit well with general manager Ron Hextall, who
could be heard shouting expletives in a room adjacent to the
visiting locker stalls after the game. Hextall would tell the media
he could not "confirm or deny" he had words for his players but said
he was disappointed in his team's performance.
Right wing Wayne Simmonds, however, said the team deserved to hear
those fiery words from Hextall.
"We didn't show up tonight," Simmonds said. "The first line played
well tonight. The only other person to show up was Mase."
The Flyers' top line of right winger Jakub Voracek, center Claude
Giroux and Schenn were excellent, accounting for 16 of the team's 47
shot attempts while playing about 25 minutes. Mason was outstanding
as well, stopping 32 shots in a game where his team was allowing one
prime scoring chance after another.
Mason, who was addressing reporters during Hextall's shouting in the
next room, said he was disappointed in the fact the team showed
little fight once it fell behind 2-0 in the second period.
"I don't think we had an answer tonight," Mason said. "As a team, it
wasn't there tonight."
Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein scored his career-best fourth goal at
5:10 of the first period, firing a quick shot from the slot after
taking a pass from left winger Carl Hagelin to make it 1-0.
Nash extended the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 7:43 of the
second period. Center Derek Stepan and right winger Martin St. Louis
worked a tic-tac-toe passing play that ended with Nash slamming the
puck into a vacated net.
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Despite the even shot total, the Rangers (8-7-4) commanded the rest
of the game, only finding themselves trapped in their zone during
6-on-5 play in the final three minutes. If not for two goal posts
and the sensational play of Mason, the Rangers would have six or
It was an up performance from a Rangers team that has been up and
down all season.
"I haven't been in the lineup but there have been too many good
games that have been followed by average to below-average efforts,
so we need to back this one up and make it count," said Rangers
defenseman Dan Boyle, who has been limited to five games because of
a broken hand suffered in the season's first game.
"We need to get ourselves in a little groove here, a little roll,
and string some wins together."
The Flyers (7-8-2) have a chance to rebound Thursday when they host
the Minnesota Wild, a team that's won three straight and hasn't
played since Sunday.
"We know how to play hockey," Voracek said. "I wouldn't say we
weren't ready. We were just slow. I don't know why. Were we tired? I
don't know the answer. We've got a game tomorrow with a good team
coming into the building.
"We've got to make sure we win because this is three games now we've
been outplayed pretty badly."
NOTES: Flyers C Claude Giroux was originally expected to miss the
game with a foot injury but took part in pregame warmups and was in
the lineup. ... Flyers RW Jason Akeson was scratched and C Scott
Laughton played his first game since the 2013 season. ... Flyers D
Michael Del Zotto returned to Madison Square Garden for the first
time since was traded from the Rangers to Nashville last season but
left with a lower-body injury. He could miss Thursday's game against
Minnesota. ... Rangers RW Lee Stempniak (back) did not play. RW
Jesper Fast took his spot in the lineup. ... Key players missing on
either side include Flyers D Andrew MacDonald (lower body) and LW
Michael Raffl (lower body) and Rangers D Ryan McDonagh (shoulder).
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