|National Hockey League|
· Current Odds
· Live Odds
· Daily Schedule
· Yearly Schedule
· Standings - East
· Standings - West
· College Hockey
Rangers handle Flyers to take 2-1 series lead
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin St. Louis and Dan Girardi each notched a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots, and the New York Rangers regained control of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-1 win in Game 3 on Tuesday.
Much like the previous game, the Rangers raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first period before the Flyers sliced the margin in half heading into the first intermission.
Philadelphia went on to score three more times to take Game 2 by a 4-2 margin and even this best-of-seven set at one game apiece, but Lundqvist made sure Tuesday's lead held up, turning aside all 20 shots he faced over the final 40 minutes to stifle any hopes of another Philadelphia comeback.
"Our emotion and our desperation, Game 2 we didn't show much of that," Girardi said when asked what was different with his team this time around. "We just played a lot harder than we did in Game 2 and that shows through desperation."
Derek Stepan and former Flyer Daniel Carcillo supplied New York's other goals, while Rick Nash recorded a pair of assists in the victory.
Mark Streit scored the lone marker for the Flyers, who saw Ray Emery allow four goals on 20 shots before being pulled with just over seven minutes left in the third.
Emery made his third straight start in place of No. 1 goaltender Steve Mason, who made three saves in a surprise relief appearance. Mason wasn't expected to dress for the game as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury, but was named Emery's backup just hours before the game started.
"It's good to get back out there," Mason said. "I haven't played in I guess almost two weeks or so, and it was nice to get my feet wet again and I look forward to maybe the next game."
The Flyers will look to even the series in Game 4 on Friday.
Stepan sparked New York's fast start with his second of the playoffs just 3:54 in, as Nash's shot from outside the left circle tipped off Emery's glove and bounced to the low right side, where Stepan picked it up before ripping the rebound past a sprawling Emery for a 1-0 lead.
St. Louis re-directed Girardi's right point blast past Emery's stick-side at 10:24 to make it 2-0, but the Flyers answered with the teams skating 4-on-4 later in the frame.
Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux caused a turnover in the neutral zone and played the puck ahead to Jakub Voracek, who made his way into the right circle before centering the disc for Streit joining the rush.
With his defender on his back, Streit was able to one-time the feed past Lundqvist from between the circles to make it 2-1 at 17:18.
Girardi restored the Rangers' two-goal lead 5:17 into the second when he blasted a heavy slapper from the high slot that sailed high over Emery's glove for a 3-1 lead.
"I think that goal was extremely important for the game," Lundqvist said of Girardi's marker. "2-2 or a 3-1 game, that's a big difference. It definitely gave us some confidence. Even though they kept coming pretty hard, especially in the second period, having that extra goal helped a lot I think for the group."
Philadelphia peppered Lundqvist with 13 shots in the second, but couldn't get anything past the New York netminder before Carcillo lit the lamp midway through the third to provide the Rangers with some breathing room.
Just after the visitors killed off a minor against the former Flyer, Carcillo raced down the middle of the ice without the puck and got behind his defender as Brian Boyle carried the disc down the left side.
Boyle then skated into the Philadelphia zone and sent a slick saucer pass toward the front of the net that Carcillo tipped through the legs of Emery for a 4-1 lead at 10:53.
Carcillo reacquainted himself with the Philadelphia faithful following the goal, skating straight to the glass with both arms raised in triumph.
Mason entered in place of Emery with just over seven minutes left, but with the offense unable to solve Lundqvist, it was too little, too late for the Flyers.
St. Louis has two goals and three assists this series ... New York had lost three straight at Wells Fargo Center ... Nash has four assists this postseason ... New York went 0-for-4 on the power play to fall to 3-for-16 on the man advantage in the series ... Carcillo played for the Flyers from 2008-11, recording 16 goals, 16 assists and 414 penalty minutes in 153 games ... Giroux was credited with his first two shots of the series ... Philadelphia went 0- for-5 on the power play ... Tuesday's tilt was the Rangers' first playoff game in Philadelphia since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 25, 1997, and their first playoff victory in the City of Brotherly Love since a 5-4 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 18, 1997.
04/23 00:04:04 ET