Steve Mason got the nod to start in goal for the Flyers for the first time since his arthroscopic knee surgery on February 10th, and he did not miss a beat. Mason was exceptional tonight stopping 34 of 36 shots including all 16 faced in the third period helping Philadelphia hang onto their 3-2 lead.
But the game didn't start out this way for the Flyers goalie. Just seven seconds into the game, the Rangers got one past Steve Mason from center ice on a bouncing puck. However, upon further review, it was determined that the Rangers were offsides giving Mason and the Flyers a huge break early on.
Both teams traded goals 24 seconds apart midway through the first. Matt Read scored first for the Flyers after corralling Sean Couturier's rebound and sneaking it past Rangers goalie Cam Talbot, while JT Miller responded for the Rangers less than a half-minute later. Luke Schenn turned the puck over to Carl Hagelin deep in his zone and Hagelin found Miller, who was initially stopped by Mason, but then buried his own rebound.
John Moore broke the tie momentarily halfway through the second period when his shot from the point ricocheted off Braydon Coburn's foot and past Mason. But less than three minutes later, it was the Flyers turn to respond. Michael Raffl tipped in Coburn's shot from the point and the game was tied again.
Before the period was out, Claude Giroux was called for a slashing penalty giving the Rangers a PowerPlay to start the third. Instead of the Rangers taking advantage of their man-advantage, it was the Flyers who capitalized. Sean Couturier was terrific all night especially on the penalty kill, which went 3 for 3. Couturier even provided offense while shorthanded when he made a nice move in the offensive zone to find a cutting Del Zotto. The defenseman made no mistake scoring from his favorite spot on the ice, the faceoff dot, against his former team giving the Flyers the lead.
Then it became the Steve Mason show. Mason stopped all 16 Rangers shots in the period including a late barrage that consisted of six shots in a 34 second span.
Wayne Simmonds tacked on an empty net goal with under a second remaining finalizing the score at 4-2.
Due to two victories by the eighth seeded Boston Bruins, the Flyers are now six points back in the standings.
- Del Zotto scored his fourth game winning goal of the season. He had three in his whole career prior to this year.
- Couturier picked up two assists tonight snapping his four game pointless streak. It was his first multipoint game since December 29th, 27 games ago.
- Vinny Lecavalier returned to action after being scratched four games. He picked up an assist after going scoreless in his last six.
- The Rangers outshot the Flyers 36-34 tonight.
- Nicklas Grossmann left the game early. He went down to block a shot which appeared to hit him near his back or the side of his head. He was helped off the ice and did not return.
- Philadelphia went 0 for 3 on the PowerPlay.
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to start a winning streak when they host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.