Flyers finally win at Garden, tie series with Rangers

Rangers winger Martin St. Louis, who scored New York's first goal, tries to swat the puck past Flyers goaltender Ray Emery in the first period of Game 2.
Rangers winger Martin St. Louis, who scored New York's first goal, tries to swat the puck past Flyers goaltender Ray Emery in the first period of Game 2. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 22, 2014

NEW YORK - The Flyers don't have to answer questions about failing to win at Madison Square Garden anymore.

Getting goals from two unlikely sources - Jason Akeson and Luke Schenn - the Flyers evened their opening-round playoff series Sunday afternoon, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit and jolting the New York Rangers, 4-2, at the Garden.

Akeson, who gained a measure of redemption from a double-minor penalty that led to the Game 1 loss, and Schenn scored the first playoff goals of their NHL careers as the Flyers ended a nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden, knotting the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

"Now we're going back home and obviously feeling good about ourselves," Schenn said after scoring what proved to be the winning goal in the second period.

In franchise history, the Flyers are 17-16 in series that are tied, 1-1; they are 3-14 when falling into a 2-0 series hole, showing the importance of Sunday's comeback victory.

"It's huge," said center Sean Couturier, who played superbly on the penalty kill. "If we want to win the series, we need to get at least one here. We got one, and now it's a best-of-five" with three games at home.

Game 3 is Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center, where the Flyers won both regular-season games against the Rangers.

Holding a 3-2 lead, the Flyers killed a power play early in the third period, making New York just 1 for 6 with the man advantage. (The Rangers' lone power-play goal came with Couturier in the penalty box.)

Akeson, who played just one regular-season game with the Flyers after scoring 24 goals with the AHL's Phantoms, pounced on a rebound of a Vinny Lecavalier shot and scored with three seconds to go on a power play, tying the score, 2-2, with 14 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the second period.

Ray Emery (31 saves) was brilliant as the Flyers killed a four-on-three power play midway through the second, making key stops on Brad Richards (high slot) and Martin St. Louis from in close.

Henrik Lundqvist turned aside Adam Hall on a shorthanded breakaway during the Rangers' power play, and Emery made one of his best saves as the penalty expired, stopping Mats Zuccarello in close.

Schenn, who had four goals in the regular season, scored on a rebound while a delayed penalty had been called on the Rangers with 8:42 left in the second period, putting the Flyers ahead, 3-2. Schenn hustled deep into the zone and followed a Hall shot.

"I knew it was a delayed penalty and even if they touched it up, it was blown dead anyway, so I decided to jump up in the rush," Schenn said. "The guys did a great job of battling, and I was able to get a rebound and chip it in."

Wayne Simmonds scored an empty-netter with 26 seconds remaining.

The Flyers had been outscored, 35-10, in losing nine previous games at the Garden since 2011, and had not scored more than two goals against Lundqvist in any of them.

Earlier, St. Louis scored on a one-timer from the right circle after a poor pass by Lecavalier sent the Rangers on a three-on-two. That gave New York a 1-0 lead 4:08 into the game.

As was the case in their 4-1 loss in Game 1, undisciplined play was costly to the Flyers, who allowed two power-play goals 47 seconds apart in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie Thursday.

On Sunday, a roughing penalty against Couturier led to Benoit Pouliot's power-play goal. Pouliot scored despite flubbing the shot from the right circle. Emery, playing because of an injury to starter Steve Mason, was slow on post-to-post moves throughout the first period, and he allowed two goals on New York's first four shots.

At that point, a "We Want Hextall!" chant echoed around the Garden.

But Emery rebounded and made some critical stops the rest of the way, keying the victory.

"I try to stay even-keel, whether it's going well or even if you don't get off to the start you want," Emery said.

The Flyers got to within 2-1 as Jake Voracek swept around defenseman Ryan McDonagh, went in alone, and beat Lundqvist with 5:46 remaining in the first period.

"That," Schenn said, "was a huge goal for us. Guys got skating after that instead of standing around watching."


BY THE NUMBERS

30-7

Flyers' record in playoff series when they win Game 2.

63

Saves by Ray Emery in the first two games of the series, on 69 shots.

35

Saves by New York's Henrik Lundqvist in two games, on 39 shots.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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