This was a celebration for the role players.
Brian Boyle had just snapped a shot into an empty cage to salt away the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Flyers in Game 5 Sunday when the fourth-line left wing pumped his arms as he skated behind the Eighth Avenue goal into a gathering of teammates.
It was also a validation of head coach Alain Vigneault’s philosophy: The Rangers are a four-line team.
“That’s just our M.O.,” said Brad Richards, one of four goal scorers along with Boyle, Dominic Moore and Marc Staal. “We’ve prided ourselves on our [depth] all year. We play four lines and everybody has a different role. You can’t have [depth] without a good fourth line.”
The fourth line of Boyle, Moore and Derek Dorsett totaled two goals and an assist for three points and a plus-2 rating Sunday afternoon, and contributed to a penalty kill that only surrendered a Vincent Lecavalier marker on five power plays against.
Moore’s goal was created by his speed and forecheck, as he pressured Braydon Coburn into a cross-ice pass to Hal Gill. The pass was deflected by Moore, who beat Mason for the game-winnner.
“He’s been good,” Vigneault said of Moore. “He was good again tonight. He took some important faceoffs and was able to capitalize on one of their mistakes, which is a big thing in any game. It turned out to be the winning goal.”
The Rangers have an opportunity to advance to the next round should they win Game 6 Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. If necessary, Game 7 will be Wednesday night at the Garden.
“We took back the advantage and we have to win one now,” Richards said. “We put ourselves in a good position.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.