Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game 1

Brad Richards
Brad Richards had a big game for the Rangers in the opener of the series.
Credit: Getty Images

First blood — literally and figuratively — goes to the Rangers.

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Flyers in Game 1 of the Metropolitan Division semifinal series at the Garden.

Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin also scored for the Rangers, who outshot the Flyers, 36-15. Nine Rangers finished with at least one point, led by Richards who had a three-point effort. Martin St. Louis had two points.

Henrik Lundqvist made 14 saves.

“We’re really happy with the result,” St. Louis said. “For us we’re trying to earn it every day. That’s the main thing and that’s what we focus on. If we do that, we give ourselves a good chance.”

Andrew MacDonald scored the Flyers’ lone goal. Ray Emery allowed all four goals, and the possibility exists he may be replaced by Steve Mason for Game 2. After the Flyers’ morning skate, Flyers head coach Craig Berube said Mason, the usual starter, will travel to New York Friday to join the team. He will not skate with the Flyers, and Berube did not tip his hand when he was asked directly if Mason would be available for Game 2.

Mason hasn’t played since suffering an injury in the second period following a collision with MacDonald and Pittsburgh’s Jayson Menga in the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win over the Penguins last Saturday.

Deadlocked 1-1 midway through the third period, Jason Akeson was assessed a double minor for high-sticking Carl Hagelin, when the Flyers right wing’s stick opened a cut on the Rangers left wing’s upper lip. Richards (8:22) and Stepan (9:09) scored on the ensuing 4:00 power play to turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead.

The Rangers were 2-for-6 on the power play, and killed off the Flyers’ lone man advantage.

“He got me pretty good but I’ll take that,” Hagelin said, who scored his first of the playoffs with 4:08 left to end the scoring. “We got [a] four-[minute] power play and we did a great job scoring on our chances. We got out there and you could see the [power-play] guys were on a mission. Getting that quick goal by [Richards] really helped our confidence and getting another right after was key.”

Despite significant territorial and shot advantages, the Rangers entered the third tied 1-1 with the Flyers. MacDonald opened the scoring 7:28 into the series with a slap shot that eluded Lundqvist, and Zuccarello tied the game three and a half minutes later. With Emery and Kimmo Timonen tied up with Derick Brassard, Zuccarello snuck in and lifted a backhander to draw the Rangers even.

Lundqvist wasn’t tested very often in the opening 40 minutes, as he faced 14 shots. His toughest occurred with 8:50 remaining in the second period as he made a sprawling save on Matt Read.

“It was a different game,” Lundqvist said. “You have to stay ready, you try to stay ready. They had a couple chances in the first and second, and then in the third we played a really controlled game and did a lot of good things out there.”

Most notably, the Rangers neutralized the Flyers’ top line. Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek were limited to two shots on goal and eight attempted shots.

“Whoever we are out there against, we try to play our game,” Brian Boyle said of the fourth-line matchup against Philly’s top line in the defensive end of the ice. “We’re aware of when they’re out there, who they are as players and as a line. Just kind of the way the game fell into place, we were out there after goals and they sent Giroux’s line out. We tried to hold them in check.”

The Rangers have now won nine straight at the Garden against the Flyers dating back to March 6, 2011. The playoff win was the Rangers first at the Garden against the Flyers since Game 4 of the Patrick Division semifinal series on April 12, 1987.

Game 2 is set for noon Sunday at the Garden.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…