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Mason makes 37 saves, Flyers defeat Rangers

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers center Sam Gagner had a chance to score the overtime winner against the New York Rangers on Saturday, but the puck rolled off his stick. When he got a chance in the ensuing shootout, he was determined to take advantage.

Gagner did just that, and captain Claude Giroux followed with the deciding goal to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 victory.

Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason made saves on two of three New York shooters, including against Dominic Moore in the third round to clinch the victory. He made 37 saves through overtime.

Mark Streit and Scott Laughton each scored a goal for the Flyers (4-2-1).

The game was delayed early in the second period as Flyers forward Michael Raffl required medical attention on the bench and was helped to the locker room. Raffl did not return because of an upper-body injury.

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 46 saves for the Rangers (5-2-2). It's the most saves Lundqvist has made in a game since he had 48 on April 6, 2013, against the Carolina Hurricanes.

J.T. Miller and Derick Brassard scored for New York.

Rangers forward Viktor Stalberg did not play in the third period because of a head injury sustained on a hit by Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas in the final minute of the second period. Coach Alain Vigneault said Stalberg will not be available Sunday against the Calgary Flames.

Lundqvist didn't have to make a save on Gagner's breakaway midway through overtime. Rangers forward Rick Nash tried passing from behind the Flyers net to Derek Stepan in the slot but misfired, allowing Gagner, who was trailing the play, to skate in alone on Lundqvist.

"That's a long breakaway," Gagner said. "There's a lot of time to think. I felt like I made a good move, just slipped off my stick there. Obviously, you're not happy about that one, you want to atone for it in the shootout, and I was able to do that and help the team get a win. So it's a nice feeling."

Gagner, going first in the shootout, waited for Lundqvist to reach with his stick, then pulled the puck around him and lifted a backhand shot into the top of the net.

"I figured I went forehand on the breakaway, went backhand on the shootout," Gagner said. "I know that [Lundqvist] is a student of the game and he knows who's shooting on him and what they've done in the past. I figured I went forehand in the overtime, go backhand on the shootout. He's a world-class goaltender, so you have to bring your best stuff."

After Mason stopped Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers' first shooter, Giroux capped a fancy move with a backhand over Lundqvist.

"I played with [Gagner] in junior and he had this patented move that was almost a guaranteed goal every single time," Mason said. "So to see him go down there with some pretty slick hands, and obviously when [Giroux] goes out there and stakes you to a two-goal lead in that situation, that's a must-win for the goaltender on the other side. When you have two goals to your credit, you have to make use of it."

The Rangers thought they had the go-ahead goal at 11:45 of the second period when a loose puck bounced off New York's Jarret Stoll and past Mason, but referees waved the goal off because of goaltender interference, and the call was upheld after a coach's challenge.

"I thought it was the right call to make on our part," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Jarret had been slightly pushed in, and his stick was obviously behind Mason a little bit but wasn't interfering any of his possibility of making the save. But the referee saw it differently, so you have to respect the call and move on."

The win was the Flyers' second straight in extra time, following their 5-4 overtime victory at the Boston Bruins. It also was a rare shootout victory for Philadelphia; the Flyers were 3-11 in the shootout last season, and their 31 victories in the 11-season history of the shootout are tied for the second fewest in the NHL.

"It was important for us to get this win in the shootout," Giroux said. "Last year, there were a lot of opportunities when we went to the shootout and we weren't able to get it. We did a good job getting the two points here."

The Flyers had not won a shootout against the Rangers since April 11, 2010, when Giroux also scored the winner, lifting Philadelphia into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and keeping New York out.

Brassard's power-play goal at 4:48 of the second tied the game 2-2. His shot from inside the blue line went off the stick of Flyers forward Ryan White and past Mason.

Laughton put the Flyers ahead 2-1 at 2:07 of the second period with a wrist shot from the left circle. It was his first goal since Dec. 20, 2014, a span of 21 games.

Miler tied the game with his first goal of the season at 13:30 of the first period. Mason stopped Jesper Fast on a 3-on-2 Rangers break, but the rebound went back to Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle, who backhanded a shot on net that Oscar Lindberg tipped. Mason stopped that too, but the rebound bounced to Miller, who scored from the right post.

Moments after Mason made a tremendous stick save, spinning on his knees to reach back to rob Lindberg, Streit gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 11:15 of the first period with his second goal, a slap shot from the blue line that went past Lundqvist through traffic.


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