Flyers rebound to defeat Rangers, 4-2

Posted: March 03, 2014

Frustrated, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist slammed his stick to the ice late in Saturday afternoon's intense, entertaining matchup against the Flyers.

Seconds earlier, defenseman Luke Schenn had slammed away the Rangers' comeback hopes, scoring on a rebound with 3 minutes, 45 seconds left to close out the Flyers' 4-2 victory at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers, rebounding from a 7-3 loss to San Jose two nights earlier, notched their fifth win in their last six games. They are 4-0-1 this season in games following a loss of four goals or more.

"We're a resilient bunch," winger Wayne Simmonds said after scoring what proved to be the game-winner in the second period, adding six hits and an assist, and helping the Flyers move to within one point of the second-place Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. "We should never give up that many goals in a game to begin with. We talked about things after that. We kind of start from scratch and start doing the simple things right, and it results in wins."

Goalie Steve Mason (33 saves) made two stops on Derek Stepan from in close with a little under 10 minutes remaining to keep the Flyers ahead, 3-2. (About 61/2 minutes earlier, a Flyers goal was erased because the referees ruled the whistle had blown before the puck came loose.)

Simmonds scored from the left circle, putting a shot between Lundqvist's legs to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead with 6:37 left in a Rangers-dominated second period. It was Simmonds' 10th power-play goal, tying him with Patrick Kane for fifth in the NHL, and it also tied him with Claude Giroux for the team lead with 19 goals.

Other than that power-play sequence and a few other offensive thrusts, the Flyers were in retreat mode for most of the second period, during which they were outshot, 13-7.

The Rangers had tied it at 2 when Derick Brassard's drive from the high slot, on a power play, went through Mason's legs with 8:18 to go in the second. New York, coming off a 2-1 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, had gotten to within 2-1 early in the second period as Chris Kreider redirected Rick Nash's pass past Mason.

The Flyers, gaining momentum from killing a pair of early penalties against Scott Hartnell, built a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Vinny Lecavalier (deflection off the Rangers' Anton Stralman) and Sean Couturier (pretty breakaway deke).

"I think we have character," Couturier said of the bounce-back win after Thursday's blowout defeat. "Guys don't accept those types of losses."

The Flyers were bolstered by the return of defensive anchor Kimmo Timonen (two assists), who sat out Thursday's loss to get an extra day of rest after returning from the Olympics.

Flyers winger Zac Rinaldo was involved in several scrums with his mirror image - former Flyer Dan Carcillo - and each player had 12 minutes in penalties.

If the Flyers and Rangers meet in the playoffs, "it would be a war, it would be a good time, and it would be good hockey," Rinaldo said.

Breakaways. Brayden Schenn won 12 of 14 faceoffs (86 percent) and contributed an assist and five hits. . . . Matt Read collected his 100th career point. . . . Backup goalie Ray Emery, sidelined with a lower-body injury, will not make the trip for Sunday's matinee in Washington. Berube said he was confident enough to use Cal Heeter, but hinted Mason would face the Capitals. . . . The Rangers had their six-game road winning streak snapped. . . . It reportedly would take a roster player and a first-round draft pick to acquire Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

www.inquirer.com/

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