Flyers even series with rare road win vs. Rangers
Luke Schenn scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and backup Ray Emery made 31 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers, who rallied to beat the New York Rangers, 4-2, yesterday to even the first-round playoff series.
Schenn put Philadelphia in front after Game 1 goat Jason Akeson tied it 2-2 earlier in the period. That was enough for the Flyers to snap a nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden and send the series to Philadelphia tied at 1.
Game 3 is tomorrow night.
Jakub Voracek brought the Flyers within 2-1 in the first after Martin St. Louis and Benoit Pouliot staked New York to the early two-goal lead. Emery did the rest, looking especially sharp in the second and third periods while subbing for injured No. 1 goalie Steve Mason.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots after a 14-save winning effort in the opener. The Rangers had outscored the Flyers 35-10 during the winning streak and allowed two goals or fewer in each game.
The tide turned in the second period when the Flyers netted the tying and go-ahead goals despite being outshot 17-9.
Akeson tied it 5:45 in when he scored into the open left side off a rebound of Brayden Schenn’s shot for his second career NHL goal.
It was a day of redemption for the 23-year-old Akeson, playing his fourth NHL game. His double high-sticking penalty in Game 1 led to two Rangers goals that turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 deficit in the third period.
Philadelphia grabbed its second lead of the series with 8:42 left in the second during a delayed penalty. Michael Raffl brought the puck in on the right side and got it to Adam Hall for a shot. Luke Schenn then put in the rebound.
The Rangers’ chance for a comeback was thwarted by a penalty for too many men with just 1:18 left in the game that led to Wayne Simmonds’ empty-net goal with 25.4 seconds remaining.
Unlike in Game 1, the Flyers wasted little time in getting their first shot on Lundqvist, as Akeson put a puck on goal 11 seconds in.
Philadelphia, however, continued its undisciplined ways that cost the Flyers in the opener. They killed their first penalty after Simmonds held Ryan McDonagh in the offensive zone at 1:04. But they allowed one power-play goal and were short-handed three times.
New York took a 1-0 lead at 4:08 after a crisp passing sequence. Rick Nash came in with speed on the left side and moved the puck into the middle to Derek Stepan, who sent a hard pass into the right circle to St. Louis for a sharp one-timer that he punctuated with a fist pump.
St. Louis, who had only one goal and seven assists with the Rangers in 19 regular-season games after being acquired from Tampa Bay, scored at the Garden for the first time since the trade for former captain Ryan Callahan. St. Louis has a goal and two assists in the series.
The Rangers pushed the lead to 2-0 at 8:22 on their third power-play goal in two games.
More precision passing in the Philadelphia end by Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard set up another one-timer from the right side, this time by Pouliot, who got enough of the puck to put it past Emery.
The Flyers got one back on a strong move by Voracek, who skated around defenseman Ryan McDonagh on the backhand and tucked in a forehand with 5:46 left.
CANADIENS 3, LIGHTNING 2
Tomas Plekanec scored at 5:43 of the third period and Montreal moved one win away from advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs with a victory over Tampa Bay.
Montreal leads the best-of-seven series 3-0 and can sweep the Lightning with a win tomorrow night at the Bell Centre.
Rene Bourque scored 11 seconds into the game after a rousing pregame show and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal. Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle scored for Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay got a scare at 16:09 of the second period when scoring star Steven Stamkos fell and was struck in the head by Alexei Emelin’s knee, but he returned for the third period.
And the Lightning were outraged when the officials waived off an apparent goal by Ryan Callahan at the 15:38 mark of the second because of Alex Killorn’s incidental contact with goalie Carey Price.