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Simmonds' hat trick helps Flyers force Game 7
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Wayne Simmonds turned in his first career playoff hat trick, Steve Mason was spectacular, and the Philadelphia Flyers lived to fight at least another day with a 5-2 throttling of the New York Rangers that forced a Game 7 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
With their backs squarely to the wall, the Flyers responded with by far their best performance of the series, roaring out to a 4-0 lead through two periods and sending New York's star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to the bench after 40 minutes.
Simmonds and Mason, who recorded 34 saves, set the tone for a season-saving result which gives Philadelphia a surge of momentum heading into Wednesday's winner-take-all showdown at Madison Square Garden, where the Flyers have prevailed just once in their last 11 visits.
Claude Giroux added a goal and an assist for his first multi-point effort of these playoffs, while reserve defenseman Erik Gustafsson also lit the lamp in his series debut.
Lundqvist stopped only 19 of 23 shots before being yanked, and the Rangers failed to match their rival's sense of urgency en route to a 12th straight loss in a playoff game they entered with a series lead.
Carl Hagelin foiled Mason's shutout bid with 6:34 left, with Mats Zuccarello later scoring for New York in the final minute and the outcome already decided.
04/29 22:24:25 ET
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