PHILADELPHIA, PA – If you thought the first round playoff series between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers would a boring, short series, well, you don’t know these two teams very well. The Flyers defeated their arch rivals 2-1 sending the series back to New York all tied at 2-2 and bringing the series down to a best-of-three.
Goaltender Steve Mason made his first start of the playoffs and was named the game’s first star of the game, making 37 saves on 38 shots. His one lone blemish came 4:38 into the game thanks to Dominic Moore’s wrap-around goal and, as usual, the Flyers were down 1-0 in the first 5 minutes of a game. This time around the Flyers made sure things didn’t stay the way for long.
Matt Read played the puck off the boards and slammed home a shot past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at one 4:17 after Moore’s goal. The bad news for Philly was the fact that the Rangers outshot the Flyers in every period, 16-6 in the first and 38-25 for the game. This time the Flyers would get the last goal that mattered when Jakub Voracek scored off of a pass from the point that roofed in the top of the net for a 2-1 score 7:22 of the second period.
The played great defense the rest of the game and Mason not only showed why he was the games’ top star but why he is the starting goalie over Ray Emery. Lord knows the media and fans love to have a goaltender controversy but this year there is no doubt: Mason is the man.
Game 5 is back in New York on Sunday at 12 noon while Game 6 is back in Philly on Tuesday. The time is to be determined.
The Flyers won the face-off battle 35-26 but hits were even at 33. The Flyers had the only power play goal (1 of 2) while the Rangers went 0 for 4. The Rangers had 21 blocked shots to the Flyers 14.