Akeson turns things around in Game 2

Flyers winger Jason Akeson savors his Game 2 goal. His double-minor high-sticking penalty in Game 1 led to a pair of goals by the Rangers.    YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Flyers winger Jason Akeson savors his Game 2 goal. His double-minor high-sticking penalty in Game 1 led to a pair of goals by the Rangers.    YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: April 22, 2014

NEW YORK - In his second NHL playoff game, all Flyers rookie Jason Akeson had to do was forget about his first one.

Akeson atoned in a major way for his double-minor penalty for high-sticking in Game 1 that led to two power-play goals in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Sunday at the same arena, things turned out much better for the 23-year-old winger.

Akeson knocked in a goal with three seconds remaining on a second-period power play to tie the score during a 4-2 win over the Rangers that evened the series at one game apiece.

"It is obviously not a fun thing to go through, but you forget about it and move on," he said of his Game 1 double-minor. "You focus on Game 2 right after and can't dwell on it."

Before that penalty in the first game, Akeson had been playing well.

"I thought he was our best player on the ice the first game, to be honest," said Jake Voracek, who scored the Flyers' first goal Sunday. "He was very confident with the puck, made a lot of plays, and had a couple of dangerous shots."

Voracek said the unfortunate part in Game 1 was that the Rangers scored twice on the double-minor. He said he was impressed with the way Akeson responded in Game 2.

"For me, that happens, it is hockey, the stick comes up high, but he is a very good player and has a good mind-set, and it was very good to see him score that goal," Voracek said. "He has a short memory, and that is what you need to have to be successful."

Akeson scored off a rebound of a Vinny Lecavalier shot to tie it, 2-2, with 14 minutes, 15 seconds left in the second period.

"I saw the puck get to the point to Vinny and tried to get in front, and I was lucky it bounced to me and I had an open net to shoot at," said Akeson, who had 24 goals and 40 assists for the AHL's Phantoms this season. He played just one regular-season game for the Flyers.

Akeson has been a center of attention in both games. He answered all the tough questions after Game 1 and obviously enjoyed the postseason drill after Game 2.

"It is your job to kind of get at me [after Game 1], and that is fine," Akeson told reporters. "This now feels good, for sure."

His teammates felt the same way.

"I am sure [the media] kept talking about it and harped on it, but he did a good job of forgetting about it and I thought he played a great game tonight," said Wayne Simmonds, who scored the Flyers' final goal on an empty-netter.

Akeson won't linger on his first postseason goal, though.

"Like we had to move past the last one, we have to move past this one," Akeson said. "Now we have to look forward to Game 3."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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