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Flyers bounce back with win over Rangers
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Steve Mason and the Philadelphia Flyers collectively recovered from their most recent game to beat the visiting New York Rangers 4-2 on Saturday.
Mason made 33 saves for the Flyers, including a left pad stop on Derek Stepan's rebound chance that preserved a 3-2 lead.
"The puck landed right on his stick, and I was able to get a left pad on it. It was a really good reaction save," Mason said.
Luke Schenn buried a rebound with 3:45 remaining to give Philadelphia some breathing room.
The Flyers stumbled in their return from the Olympic break, allowing five second-period goals in Thursday's 7-3 home loss to San Jose. But with their fifth win in six games, they closed to within a point of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Henrik Lundqvist, in his first start for New York since helping Sweden to a silver medal in Sochi, was beaten four times on 31 shots.
The Rangers lost for only the second time in their last eight games.
Philadelphia forward Steve Downie had a glorious opportunity in the crease on an early third-period power play to extend the lead, but he put a backhand right into Lundqvist.
After Mason robbed Stepan, Schenn pounced on a loose puck in the right circle after hard-working shift by the Claude Giroux-Scott Hartnell-Jakub Voracek line.
Hartnell was called for two penalties in the game's opening 4:05, but Mason made a handful of exceptional saves during the power plays to keep the game scoreless.
"We had a decent start in the sense that we forced them to take a couple of penalties," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. "Our power play could have given us the lead there, but their goaltender mad some big saves."
The Flyers then beat Lundqvist twice in a 66-second span.
Vincent Lecavalier opened the scoring with a little help from the opposition. Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman was battling with Flyers forward Brayden Schenn in front to get to a puck Lecavalier tipped and Stralman wound up putting it in his own net at the 7:04 mark of the first period.
Sean Couturier quickly made it 2-0. He gathered Matt Read's pass behind a New York player, deked around Lundqvist and fired top shelf into an open net at 8:10.
The Rangers rallied to tie the game in the second period.
Chris Kreider went to the net and tipped Rick Nash's pass behind Mason at 4:59. The goal came three minutes after a redirect by New York's Benoit Pouliot was wiped out because of a high stick,
Derick Brassard ripped a slapper from the slot through Mason's pads for a power-play goal at 11:42.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Wayne Simmonds turned with the puck in the left circle and beat Lundqvist low without a screen on a Philadelphia power play at 13:23.
The Flyers improved to 4-0-1 this season in games following a loss by four or more goals ... Brassard extended his point streak to eight games. He has five goals and five assists during that span ... The assist on Couturier's goal was career point No. 100 for Read.
03/01 17:57:26 ET
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