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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 22nd (All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (1-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (1-1), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After ending a lengthy drought at Madison Square Garden over the weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers will try to grab a series lead over the New York Rangers on Tuesday when they host Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia lost Game 1 in New York to see its losing streak at MSG climb to nine games, but the Flyers were able to halt the slide and take Sunday's meeting by a 4-2 score. The victory evened the series at 1-1 with the series shifting to the City of Brotherly Love for Games 3 and 4.
The Flyers only mustered 15 shots on goal in Thursday's 4-1 loss, but came through with a much better offensive effort in Game 2. Philadelphia was still outshot by New York, 33-25, on Sunday, but the Flyers converted 2-of-3 power- play opportunities while only allowing the Rangers to score once on six chances with the man advantage.
"Our power play had some great looks and they scored two and we didn't," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault remarked. "At the end of the night that was the game."
However, things did not look good for Philly in the early part of Game 2, as it fell behind 2-0 in the first half of the opening period before digging its way out of that hole. Luke Schenn netted the eventual game-winner 11:18 into the second period, scoring the third of four unanswered goals for the Flyers.
Jakub Voracek, Jason Akeson and Wayne Simmonds each scored once, while Ray Emery, starting back-to-back games for the first time all season, stopped 31 shots for the Flyers, who won at MSG for the first time Feb. 20, 2011.
"We just stuck with it and kept working and I think that's why we won the game," Voracek said. "After we got scored on, I think we were the better team."
Emery got the nod in net again with No. 1 goaltender Steve Mason still recovering from an upper-body injury that has sidelined him since April 12. The situation in net remains unchanged for Game 3, with Emery as the starter and Cal Heeter serving as the backup.
Martin St. Louis opened the scoring 4:08 into the game for New York and Benoit Pouliot added a power-play tally to stake the Rangers to a two-goal cushion at the 8:22 mark.
Henrik Lundqvist allowed three goals on 24 shots for the Rangers.
Schenn's game-winner came at even strength with 8:42 left in the second period. Michael Raffl carried the disc through the neutral zone and across the blue line before touching it ahead to Adam Hall, who threw the puck on net from the low right side as he was checked to the ice. Lundqvist sticked away the initial opportunity, but the rebound squirted into the slot, where Schenn swatted it home with a backhand for a 3-2 lead.
The score stayed the same until Simmonds notched an empty-net power-play goal with 26 seconds left.
Now it's New York's turn to prove it can win on the road. The Rangers lost both of their regular-season games in Philadelphia in 2013-14 and have dropped three straight and four of the last five meetings at Wells Fargo Center.
"We have to step it up," said Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello. "It's 1-1 in games, so we have to win one down there. It's as easy as that."
This is the first playoff series between these franchises since 1997. Tuesday's contest is the first postseason meeting in Philadelphia since the Flyers clinched the Eastern Conference championship with a 4-2 win over the Blueshirts on May 25, 1997.
Philadelphia has won six of the 10 playoff series against the Rangers, including three straight.
Game 4 of this series is scheduled for Friday night in Philly.
04/22 10:48:43 ET