INSIDE HOCKEY » Philadelphia Flyers http://insidehockey.com Get Inside! Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tribute to A Fallen Friend and Flyer Fan http://insidehockey.com/tribute-to-a-fallen-friend-and-flyer-fan http://insidehockey.com/tribute-to-a-fallen-friend-and-flyer-fan#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:19:23 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=59086

Algeo Dan and Mike 1AThe one recurring scenario in my mind’s eye is of my friend, Dan Algeo as a middle school student. I remember him constantly thanking me during the late-1970’s and early 1980’s for my coverage in The North Penn Reporter of the Lansdale Catholic Crusader football (and the school’s other sports) teams.

We also had in-depth discussions about the Philadelphia Flyers, which was my professional beat for the daily newspaper when I wasn’t covering the Crusaders. Both of us were confident that the Bob Clarke-led Flyers had the personnel and grit to win another Stanley Cup or two. Unfortunately for the orange and white, they ran into a New York Islanders team that was just beginning its own Cup dynasty.

Dan Algeo seemed to possess a maturity far beyond his pre-teenage years, enabling us to talk as football fans and friends at LC football practices and games, and at other sporting and school events. He could discuss the Crusaders, the Flyers and virtually any of Philly’s other pro sports franchises.

Dan passed away at the age of 49 last Thursday, July 3 after suffering a heart attack. The shock has affected legions of people who knew Dan, including the Cardinal O’Hara High School community, where he would’ve coached his 11th season as head football mentor this fall.

The sadness and sense of loss has also hit me across the miles — in suburban Dallas – like a defenseman making a jolting (but clean) open  ice body check. Dan Algeo’s loving family and friends will celebrate his life at his funeral in Lansdale, PA tomorrow, Wednesday, July 9.

Even before he attended LCHS, Dan exuded a significant degree of pride in the school’s student-athletes, his dad Jim, Sr. as the head coach, and his brother Jim, Jr. as the on field leader – the quarterback. “Thanks for giving us so much great ink (i.e., newspaper coverage),” he said on numerous occasions in his enthusiastic inflection, always accompanied by that unforgettable ear-to-ear grin that made him an absolute pleasure to visit with. “I love reading about the team, and I know the (student-athletes) do as well.”

He also enjoyed reading my chronicles about the Flyers, to be sure.

It is ironic that my “ink” did not spread to covering Dan’s outstanding football career at Lansdale Catholic, when I left the Delaware Valley to become Public Relations Director for the Central Hockey League’s Fort Worth Texans Hockey Club (the then-Colorado Rockies’ top minor league affiliate) in 1981.

Algeo men 2xxxxI have remained in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex ever since, and was fortunate to renew my friendship with Dan a few years after he coached Roman Catholic to the 1999 Philadelphia Catholic League football title. In 2004, he repeated the feat to become one of only two Philadelphia Catholic League coaches to win championships with different schools. It was no surprise that Dan had joined his dad Jim, Sr.,  his brother Jim, Jr. (Pottsgrove High football) and his sister Maggie Algeo DeMarteleire (North Penn High girls basketball) as an outstanding title-winning coach who related so well to student-athletes.

Upon renewing our relationship, we both lamented the Flyers’ lack of a third Stanley Cup conquest.

I quickly found that Dan’s personality was even more endearing, and he continued to thank me for my articles about Lansdale Catholic during that previous era. Dan could relate to virtually everybody, and I know he had a significant impact on his students and student-athletes, on his friends, and especially on each and every one of his family members and relatives.

He also shared some words of comfort with me about me losing my wife, Ilene to cancer in 2009 when we visited, along with several members of his family, in December 2013.

I feel blessed to have known Dan Algeo, and will miss him terribly. I know that he will be in my heart forever.

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Flyers Get Defensive in the Draft http://insidehockey.com/flyers-get-defensive-in-the-draft http://insidehockey.com/flyers-get-defensive-in-the-draft#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:34:22 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=59033

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Flyers went into the 2014 NHL Entry Draft with needs at all positions, but mostly at left wing, where the lack of scoring is obvious not only on the current roster but throughout the Flyers farm system. The Flyers did continue their quest by adding more and more quality defensemen to a blueline that is in dire need or youth badly on the current roster.

Here is a look at the Flyers picks.

Travis Sanheim – 1st round, 17th overall. The Flyers already have 6’ 3” Samuel Morin about to crack the lineup but the main difference between the two is Morin is still filling his frame out whereas Sanheim plays for the Calgary Hitmen and has a lot of filling out to do. Still, the thoughts of both Morin and Sanheim on the same defensive pair looks intimidating on paper. Look for Sanheim to spend at least the next season in Calgary He might stay in Calgary another year after that but once he is done with his time there he will spend at least one season in the AHL. He should in the Flyers lineup starting 2018 at the earliest.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel 2nd round, 48th overall. Despite having few needs on right wing, Aube-Kubel played very well for Val d’Or in the QMJHL. He has improved in each of his two years in the Q and should spend at least one more year in the Q before moving on to the AHL. His time in the A will go a long way to show how NHL ready he is. Barring trades and such Aube-Kubel could make the big squad as early as 2017 but is more likely to be ready in 2018 or 2019.

Mark Friedman – 3rd round, 86th overall. Despite playing in the USHL, the Flyers took their third straight Canadian born player. Like Sanheim he is a d-man but he is only 5’ 10” but he could be in for a position change. He is a right handed shot which is good news for him since the Flyers need right handed shots at the blueline. If he can skate like current Flyer Kimmo Timonen he might have a future in south Philly.

Oskar Lindblom – 5th round, 138th overall. It took five rounds but the Flyers finally addressed their biggest need. The funny part is he could be a quality pick and a real steal. In 2013 he scored 31 goals in 33 games and 13 goals in 44 games.

Lindbolm will most likely spend one more season in Sweden before coming overseas to make the Flyers roster, or spend at least one season in the AHL.

Radel Fazlee – 6TH round, 168th overall. – Another undersized player that is very hard to predict what kind of player he will be. He is listed as playing both left wing and center. He is clearly a project. Only time will tell what kind of player he will become.

Jesper Pettersson – 7th round, 198th overall. The Flyers started their draft taking a big defenseman with their first pick and ended their draft taking their smallest by taking a 5’ 8” defenseman. His future is a mystery and is considered a project.

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Flyers Reach for a Hitman http://insidehockey.com/flyers-reach-for-a-hitman http://insidehockey.com/flyers-reach-for-a-hitman#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:28:44 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=59031

PHILADELPHIA, PA – One thing the Philadelphia Flyers can never be called on draft day is boring. For the second straight year the Flyers drafted a defenseman, but that’s not the main story. While most of the players were being taken where they were ranked, the Flyers reached for someone a lot higher than they were taken by the team. Last year it was Samuel Morin, this year it was former Calgary Hitmen Travis Sanheim.

At least Morin was expected to go in the first round. Sanheim was slated to go at least into the middle part of the second round at the very least.

For the first time in city history, Philadelphia hosted the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in their own backyard. They didn’t miss the chance to show no matter how low or high he was ranked they didn’t care. The fans gave there seal of approval. Sanheim and his family greatly appreciated it. If he turns out to be something other than the worth of a first round pick, however, there wrath will be felt one way or another.

The interesting part is that that Flyers, who went into the draft needing offense in an offensive minded draft went for defense. The Flyers already have three of their top four prospects considered to be blue chippers with Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg in there system . Adding the 6’ 3” Sanheim was Hextall’s way of solidifying there blueline for the next several years, something they ignored to do prior to last season’s draft. In prior years if you were a center chances were pretty good you were taken by the Flyers.

Time will tell if the Flyers were right or not on the pick. Going for quality defenseman is never a bad thing no matter where they are ranked, or drafted. Look on the bright side Flyers fans, in the next four years all four players should be part of the Flyers bluline. Youth will be served that day. In the mean time you will just have to put up with 40 year old defenseman who can’t say the word retire fast enough.

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Blue Jackets Acquire Scott Hartnell http://insidehockey.com/blue-jackets-acquire-scott-hartnell http://insidehockey.com/blue-jackets-acquire-scott-hartnell#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 18:25:56 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=59004

The Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off a major trade today, acquiring Left Winger Scott Hartnell from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward RJ Umberger and a 4th round pick in next year’s 2015 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft.

Umberger was the subject of trade speculation since being a healthy scratch for four games over a seven-game stretch during the Blue Jackets Stanley Cup playoff run.  Umberger was also scratched for the first two games of the Blue Jackets 1st round Stanley Cup playoff series against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins.  After the season had ended, it was revealed that Umberger was frustrated with the benching by Blue Jackets Head Coach Todd Richards and went to Blue Jackets General Manager (GM) Jarmo Kekalainen and Team President of Hockey Operations John Davidson to request to be traded.

It was becoming readily apparent that Umberger didn’t fit with the direction of the Blue Jackets organization, one that Kekalainen envisions as a young, north-south, gritty team with plenty of speed and youth.  Additionally, Umberger’s production has dwindled during the past three seasons, going from averaging 56 points a season from 2009-11 to averaging 34 points per season, assuming you extrapolate the lockout-shortened season as well as giving consideration to registering 20 points during his last 12 games of the 2011-12 regular season when the Blue Jackets cemented the NHL’s worst regular season record.

While a sound offensive player, particularly on the Power Play, Umberger wasn’t the swiftest skater and was often streaky and inconsistent and didn’t seem to grab the mantle of being the Blue Jackets team captain, something that the local fans seemed to think was a ‘done deal’ for the former Ohio State Hockey player.  However, his scoring struggles seemed to bog down his overall fire in the locker room with his much younger teammates, thus the captaincy appeared not to be in the offing.

At an initial glance, trading for the veteran forward was going to be tough.  With three full seasons at $4.6 million per season remaining on his contract, given his dwindling offensive statistics, not to mention his list of ten NHL teams he rejected being traded to, his contract was considered to be a bit of an albatross, particularly for a player who requested to be traded, a version of the ‘horse out of the barn’ from a leverage standpoint.

The seemingly probable option was a compliance buyout, in which the Blue Jackets, who had their full allotment of two amnesty buyouts available to them, would pay 2/3rds of Umberger’s remaining salary over the course of double the years, in this case, over six seasons which would equate to a per year amount of $1.6 million per season.  However, for a small market team, particularly one that has struggled with attendance the prior few seasons, this option was a bit of a financial constraint.

However, Kekalainen once again displayed the creativity and boldness to garner a trade and was able to contact new Flyers GM Ron Hextall who was willing to part with Hartnell and the trade was consummated.

In Hartnell, the Blue Jackets do acquire a feisty player who can easily get under the opponents skin, one who has good offensive instincts and is a solid finisher to the net.  On the minus side, Hartnell is also prone to some questionable antics and can incur a plethora of penalty minutes, having averaged over 100 penalty minutes for nine of his 12 full seasons in the NHL, although extrapolating the lockout-shortened season of 2013, he was well on his way to 100 and narrowly missed 100 penalty minutes for the other two full seasons.  He has also averaged over 22 goals and 24 assists during his career, capped off by a 37-goal campaign in 2011-12.

As to his contract, Hartnell has five years remaining on his contract at $4.75 million per season, so his annual salary is only slightly higher than Umberger’s.

However, for the upstart Blue Jackets, Hartnell epitomizes the direction and type of style the organization intends to play under Messrs. Davidson and Kekalainen.  Acquiring Hartnell also allows Kekalainen to more slowly groom his cadre of talented young forwards drafted in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, namely Alexander Wennberg, Kirby Rychel, Marko Dano and Oliver Bjorkstrand.

Finally, Kekalainen deftly avoids a compliance buyout, one which particularly to some ardent Ohio State fans who occupy the Central Ohio area would have had some consternation with.  However, as this new fan-base must be quick to realize, that – his Ohio State playing days – was college, this is professional hockey.  Davidson and Kekalainen didn’t view this factor nor should have they – this is a business, one with the ultimate prize, one of claiming and raising the Stanley Cup.  While not the type of trade that cements this quest, it is one that lays the foundation for continued success for the young Blue Jackets organization.

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Photo Gallery: NHL April Photos of the Month http://insidehockey.com/photo-gallery-nhl-april-photos-of-the-month http://insidehockey.com/photo-gallery-nhl-april-photos-of-the-month#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 17:49:00 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58610

Here are the April 2014 NHL Photos of the Month from the photographers at Inside Hockey.

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Strong Second Period Catapults Rangers Past Flyers http://insidehockey.com/strong-second-period-catapults-rangers-past-flyers http://insidehockey.com/strong-second-period-catapults-rangers-past-flyers#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 10:39:40 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58529

One Pennsylvania team down, one to go. The New York Rangers were able to stave off the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 with a 2-1 win last night at Madison Square Garden and have secured a matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two.

”We played a really strong series. I think we were the better team,” said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “We pushed the pace almost every game. We definitely earned this one.”

Although one day removed from a lackluster Game 6, the Rangers had a few statistical advantages coming into the final game of the series. On home ice, the Blueshirts were 5-0 in Game 7s (now 6-0), while the Flyers have struggled to win at MSG; the team has only won one game out of their last 11. With the stats on their side, the Rangers just had to play a complete game by blocking shots, shutting down Philly’s top line and using their speed to pester the Flyers defense—which is the weakest part of their team.

The Rangers dominance in the second period is what helped them secure the win. The Rangers assaulted goaltender Steve Mason with 18 shots, while only allowing the Flyers to answer with five of their own. The Blueshirts controlled the puck and generated chances, and ended the period with a two-goal lead.

“We played a really good second. We kept the pace up, short shifts, everybody was involved, and we killed a couple of big penalties and buried some goals,” said Brad Richards. “We kind of just took over that period.”

Daniel Carcillo, who was benched the past two games for speedster J.T. Miller, was back in the lineup and ended up being the difference maker for the Rangers. The coaching staff understood the need for experience in a Game 7 situation, and decided Carcillo was better suited for the lineup. He broke through for the Rangers 3:06 into the second after coming out of the penalty box and crashing the net. The Blueshirts were called for too many men on the ice, but were able to kill off the penalty and turn the situation into an opportunity. Mats Zuccarello threw a no-look pass that went between the legs of Flyers defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Braydon Coburn and found Carcillo on the other side. Carcillo slightly redirected the puck that beat a sliding Mason.

“When you’re in, you try to do something to stay in, whether it be offensively or bring a lot of energy,” Carcillo said. ”That’s just what I was trying to do every time I was in this series.”

A little less than 10 minutes later, Benoit Pouliot scored the goal that would turn out to be the game winner. Pouliot needed to redeem himself in this series. He had taken costly penalties over the past few games, and needed to get back to playing smart hockey. He looked true to form last night, connecting with Zuccarello and Derick Brassard and creating chances. Pouliot cashed in on a heads-up play by Brassard who threaded a pass from the right-wing boards to Pouliot in the slot, and Pouliot wasted no time sending a slapshot past Mason and into the back of the net.

Those two goals were all the Rangers would need to secure the win. But the Flyers weren’t going to give up so easily. After being dominated in the second, the Flyers gained some life in the third because in a do-or-die situation any team is going to leave everything on the ice. While staying disciplined, the Flyers found themselves spending more time in the offensive zone and held the Rangers to zero shots in the first seven minutes.

It didn’t take long for the Flyers to cut the lead in half. Less than five minutes into the third Jason Akeson entered the zone near the right-side boards. He attempted a shot that was blocked by Marc Staal, but the rebound came directly back to Akeson who fired a shot that entered the net over Lundqvist’s right shoulder. Only down one goal, the Flyers continued to push and pulled Mason with two minutes left in the game, but Lundqvist stonewalled their final attempts.

Even though Mason, who made 31 saves, was not able to hold off the Rangers like he did in Game 6, he was outstanding in goal for the Flyers. If he started the series healthy it may have had a totally different outcome. Mason’s play in the past two games is something to be admired as he frustrated the Rangers top line and prevented the Blueshirts from running away with the game. He kept the Flyers in last night’s game, but in order to win all the pieces have to fit together and that wasn’t the case for Philly.

Overall, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was happy with his team’s performance.

“We played a good game,” he said. “We played the game the way we needed to play and were able to pull it off.”

The Rangers will have one day to celebrate their victory before taking on their other Metropolitan Division rival the Pittsburgh Penguins. In order for the Rangers to continue their success they are going to have to gain some traction on their power play. The Rangers have not been able to convert on the power play in their past 21 opportunities. If this continues, the team will have a very big disadvantage against a team that has strong special teams.

“You don’t dwell on losses and you don’t cherish wins too much in the playoffs,” said Richards. “You got to get on to the next battle.”

That’s exactly what the Rangers will do Friday night in Pittsburgh for Game 1 of the series against the Penguins.

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Photo Gallery: Rangers vs Flyers (04/29/14) http://insidehockey.com/photo-gallery-rangers-vs-flyers-042914 http://insidehockey.com/photo-gallery-rangers-vs-flyers-042914#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:59:19 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58522

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the visiting New York Rangers by a score of 5-2.

Three Star Selections
1st Wayne Simmonds (#17 PHI)
2nd Steve Mason (#35 PHI)
3rd Erik Gustafsson (#26 PHI)

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We’ll See You on Broadway http://insidehockey.com/well-see-you-on-broadway http://insidehockey.com/well-see-you-on-broadway#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:58:17 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58425

PHILADELPHIA, Pa – If anyone thought that the Philadelphia Flyers would just roll over and die just because the New York Rangers had a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 were sadly mistaken. One Flyer in particular made sure there would be a Game 7 Wednesday night back in New York.

Wayne Simmonds had a hat trick and six shots on net to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 win over the Rangers in Game 6 and once again will face elimination. The only different in Wednesday’s game is that the Rangers will be in the same position the Flyers will be. Goaltender Steve Mason once again looked great in net making 23 saves in the win.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson made his first start of the playoffs, and, at least for one game, made his Head Coach look like a genius for putting him in the game after Hal Gill had a terrible game in New York in Game 5.

The Rangers Carl Hagelin had New York’s first of two late goals late into the third period breaking Mason’s shutout bid. The Rangers outshot Philly 35-29 and the third period was the only period New York outshot the Flyers. The Rangers Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves on 23 shots. Cam Talbot came into the third to end Lundqvist’s night to get him ready for Game Seven. The winner will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two.

The Rangers won the face-off battle 32-29 but the Flyers were 2 for 3 on the power play while NYR were 0 for 5. The only real stat of the night is what is on the scoreboard. That the Flyers for the first time in the series brought the offense. The Flyers not only scored the first goal of the game but the second as well. Knowing they can play their best game can only benefit them going into Game 7.

Now is when we really find out just how good both teams are in Game 7.

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Flyers force Game 7; win 5-2 http://insidehockey.com/flyers-force-game-7-win-5-2 http://insidehockey.com/flyers-force-game-7-win-5-2#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 13:07:21 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58518

On a miserable, rainy day in Philadelphia, the Flyers shined as they won Game 6 and defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 to force the pivotal Game 7 tomorrow night in New York City. Led by winger Wayne Simmonds and goaltender Steve Mason, the Flyers played with the kind of energy that had been lacking for the majority of this series.

There was an air in the building that felt like tonight was going to be a good night. It started with the singing of God Bless America by Flyers’ anthemist Lauren Hart and accompanied on the jumbotron by the late, great Kate Smith. Smith had been the Flyers good luck charm whenever she would sing God Bless America before big games in the 1970s when the team won its only two Stanley Cups.

The Flyers came out strong as Wayne Simmonds scored his first of three goals on the power play just over seven minutes into the first period. He then scored two more goals in the second period; completing the hat trick. The last Flyer to complete a hat trick in the playoffs before the third period was Tim Kerr on April 19th, 1989 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before tonight, Simmonds had never even scored two goals in a single playoff game.

Simmonds spoke of his team’s performance after the game:

“I thought we did a good job of avoiding their shot blockers,” Simmonds said. “We had layered screens. We kept the pressure up and had second chances and third chances and fourth chances and we kept going and didn’t quit on plays. So I think that was the difference.”

As huge as Wayne Simmonds’ performance was tonight, the true star of the game was goalie Steve Mason. Mason arguably played his best game in a Flyers uniform and it couldn’t have come at a better time. He stopped 34 of 36 shots on goal including multiple point blank shots and breakaways. Chants of “Mason! Mason!” roared from the crowd throughout the game. He eventually acknowledged the crowd by raising his stick in the air which led to even louder applause.

Mason was clearly humbled by his fans’ appreciation towards him and his play:

“Those are moments that send chills down your spine,” Mason said. “You have 20,000 people chant your name. Those type of moments don’t happen too often so it’s nice just to take it in and they’re showing their appreciation and you throw your stick up in the air, acknowledge it and those are the type of moments when you’re done playing you can look back on and say they were pretty special.”

Erik Gustafsson padded the Flyers lead in the second period as he scored a breakaway goal right out of the penalty box. Claude Giroux finished the Rangers off with an empty net goal late in the third period.

The Rangers clearly didn’t play with the same toughness that had been working in their favor for most of the series. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after two periods and was replaced with backup Cam Talbot.

As well as the Flyers played tonight, it’ll be interesting to see how they will perform tomorrow night with no rest and on visiting ice where they have had trouble winning over the past few years.

Coach Craig Berube addressed these concerns to the media after the game:

“I don’t think tomorrow will be much different than tonight,” Berube said. “You’ve got to control your emotions to some point. I like the way our team was aggressive tonight. We got in there and stuck our nose in there around the net and we gotta do the same thing [tomorrow]. It’s going to be tough.”

It’ll be win or go home tomorrow night in Madison Square Garden. If Steve Mason plays tomorrow as he did tonight, it’s hard not to pick Philadelphia to win the series. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

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Rangers Send Flyers To Brink http://insidehockey.com/rangers-send-flyers-to-brink http://insidehockey.com/rangers-send-flyers-to-brink#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:29:34 +0000 http://insidehockey.com/?p=58476

NEW YORK – There are many reasons a hockey team needs to be resilient in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Perhaps their opponent has scored early. Perhaps they’re struggling to put pucks past the opponent’s star goaltender.

Or perhaps, it’s because the team feels like the world is against them.

Sunday afternoon in a crucial Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, as the calls from the officials continued to mount against them, the Rangers showed their resiliency and fought off the Flyers 4-2, to take a 3-2 series lead. They can eliminate the Flyers in Game 6 on Tuesday.

The perceived indignities started three minutes into the game, when Carl Hagelin was called for the first of his three minor penalties. Hagelin was trailing Claude Giroux, who slid into Henrik Lundqvist’s net after whiffing while driving towards the crease. Despite what appeared to be minimal contact, Hagelin was called for slashing. It was the first of four straight penalties the Rangers killed off.

The moment, though, that had the Garden crowd roaring with disapproval came at 2:14 of the second, when Martin St. Louis appeared to jam the puck home behind Steve Mason (18 saves). But referee Justin St. Pierre, who was in the corner within clear view of the play, lost sight of the puck and quickly blew the play dead.

“I heard the whistle,” St. Louis said. “I was very disappointed when I heard the whistle. This is such a fast game. Obviously at the time I’m upset with the call, but it is what it is.”

“If you want to win, you’re going to get a lot of different things come at you,” said Brad Richards. “It’s got to be even-keel. They’re doing their best trying to make the calls they see fit, they’re not trying to do anything else other than that. If they don’t see it, you try to talk to them. I’ve never seen a call changed, so you have to take that, build off it, and use it as motivation.”

The Rangers, who thought they had a 2-0 lead, scored for real just under six minutes later when Brad Richards shoved home the rebound after J.T. Miller, playing his first-career playoff game, had an initial chance.

“It didn’t bother us at all; it actually made us work a little harder,” said Dan Girardi of the no-goal call. “After that, to come back and get a couple more says a lot about our team.”

“Once you drop the puck again, you have to refocus,” St. Louis said. “Obviously it’s disappointing, but you can’t let it affect your next shift.”

With 3:40 left in the second, Dominic Moore took the puck away from Hal Gill, playing due to an injury to Nicklas Grossmann. Moore beat Mason, then jumped into the arms of Brian Boyle, the two of them tumbling to the Garden ice as the 18,006 fans at the Garden roared and waived their white rally towels.

“He was pretty excited, huh? It didn’t feel good! We’re happy for him, obviously,” Boyle said of the exuberant celebration. “I’ve gotten really close to Dom. To see how hard he’s worked, how much he’s come through for us, and what a big part of the team he’s been is huge. And that goal was just enormous for us.”

“It’s just another guy in our depth,” Richards said. “We’ve prided ourselves on it all year. We play four lines, everybody has a different role. He’s a big PK guy, and face-offs today he was unbelievable. That’s our M.O. You can’t have that if you don’t have a good fourth line, and he makes that fourth line go.”

With under two minutes left in the second and the Rangers crashing the net, Anton Stralman got pushed into Mason by Mark Streit, though Stralman was called for goaltender interference. The Flyers scored on the ensuing power play when Vincent Lecavalier’s shot deflected past Lundqvist (24 saves) off the leg of Kevin Klein.

The Rangers locked it down from there, fending off an extra-attacker goal by Claude Giroux and adding an empty-netter by Boyle, forcing the Flyers into a do-or-die Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“We have to be more desperate than them,” Girardi said of the game-plan heading into Tuesday. “They’re going to be on the brink of elimination, and they’re going to throw everything they have at us, especially at their home building where it’s loud. They’ll have a lot of energy, and we just have to make sure we match it – match their energy, hopefully exceed it at the start and create some momentum that way.”

“We’re going to get their most desperate, intense game [on Tuesday],” Richards said. “But we’ve been in that building, and we’ve played well in there.”

NOTES:

The Rangers are 13-2 all-time when leading a series 3-2 after Game 5, but haven’t closed out a series in less than seven games since the 2008 conference quarterfinals, when they defeated the Devils in five games.

The Rangers have won 11 of their last 16 playoff games at MSG, and have won at least two home games in four of their last six playoff series.

Dominic Moore, who’s played in 50 career playoff games, had never before scored goals in back-to-back playoff games. He scored the Rangers’ first goal in Friday’s Game 4.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM:

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