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POSTGAME 5: Flyers Snap MSG Slide

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers
Wayne Simmonds scored twice and Steve Mason recorded a 24-save shutout as the Flyers snapped a 10-game winless streak at Madison Square Garden with a 3-0 decision over the Rangers.  Simmonds got the Flyers on the board after a scoreless first period when he scored with 7:36 left in the second period.  Sean Couturier made it a 2-0 game with a goal 3:06 into the third period, and Simmonds finished it off with an empty netter with just under 50 seconds remaining.  The Flyers held the Rangers scoreless on the power play for their sixth game in a row without allowing a PPG.  Antti Raanta stopped 31 shots in the loss.  
With just under eight minutes left in the second period, Matt Read got his stick on a Ranger pass in front of his own net and started a break the other way.  Read carried a puck through center ice and threaded the needle with a great pass between the two Rangers defensemen right onto the stick of  Simmonds, who gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with a terrific backhand-forehand move on Raanta.   

1ST – Wayne Simmonds: Put an impressive move on Antti Raanta to score the game’s first goal and iced things with an empty-netter in the final minute, while also assisting on Sean Couturier’s third-period insurance goal.  It’s the 18th career multi-goal game for Simmonds, his 16th with the Flyers and his first since February 13, 2015.  It’s also his 11th career game of three points or more, all of which have come with the Flyers, and his first since March 14, 2015.  Simmonds also led the Flyers with five shots on goal. 

2ND – Steve Mason: Held down the fort for a 27-save shutout, especially in the first period when the Flyers were outshot 10-4 while playing a large block of time with only four defensemen.  It’s Mason’s 27th career shutout and eighth as a Flyer. 

3RD – Antti Raanta: Made 31 stops, including five on two Flyers power plays that happened less than a minute apart and resulted in nearly a full minute of 5-on-3 time.  Raanta suffered only his first loss of the season.

The Flyers snapped a 10-game regular-season losing streak at Madison Square Garden.  Their last win in the building came on February 20, 2011.  Claude Giroux is the only player who played in that game that is still on the team… The Flyers’ 18 shots in the second period were the most they’d had in a period at Madison Square Garden since December 30, 2009 when they had 18 in the second period of a 6-0 win.  That was also the last time the Flyers had a shutout at MSG; today’s and that game are the only two the Flyers have had in the building since October of 1999… Michael Del Zotto played 29:20, which is the second-highest single game total of his career and the highest for a game that ended in regulation.  The only game higher was March 28, 2015 when he played 30:40 in a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose.  His previous regulation-only career high was 28:38 for the Rangers vs. New Jersey on October 24, 2010… Colin McDonald was credited with seven hits in 9:45 of ice time… Nick Schultz left the game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return.

“This is going to be a critical point. We’re hoping this can be the flip-around for our season here.  We’ve got to keep playing hard.  We’ve played two strong games and we just have to continue when we go up to Ottawa.”

(Wayne Simmonds)

“It was an entire team effort tonight.  We were down to three or four D-men in the second period for eight minutes, and we didn’t give up a whole lot there.  It’s a testament to how hard the guys worked.  That’s the type of effort you need to win hockey games.  We haven’t won here in a long time, so we had to have a strong game tonight coming off a big win yesterday, and the boys followed it up.” 

(Steve Mason)

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