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game recap

Henrik Lundqvist propels Rangers past Flyers

Makes 30 saves one night after loss; Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner score two goals each

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, one night after giving up four goals in a loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

"I felt good," Lundqvist said. "I think we all felt like we had to respond, me included. We didn't give up much [Tuesday] but I wasn't able to come up with the big saves on their big opportunities there. … The way things happened [Tuesday], we wanted to come back with a really solid performance, and we got one."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it wasn't a hard decision to start Lundqvist again.


WATCH: Rangers vs. Flyers highlights


"He's our best player," Vigneault said. "And [Tuesday] not one of those goals he was responsible for. [It] was an easy call and he responded real well."

Michael Grabner had two goals and an assist, Kevin Hayes scored twice and Chris Kreider also scored for New York (27-13-1).

The Rangers victory total ties the Columbus Blue Jackets for the most in the League. They also improved to 7-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

The Rangers led 1-0 entering the third period on Hayes' goal at 2:08 of the second period, his first in 13 games. He also scored on a 2-on-1 at 14:15 of the third to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.

Video: NYR@PHI: Lundqvist lays out to rob Simmonds in tight

"Both of the [defenseman] went down," Hayes said. "I usually pass but tonight I shot. … Got two opportunities and got lucky."

Jakub Voracek scored two goals for Philadelphia (20-15-5) and Steve Mason made 23 saves.

It was the Flyers' seventh loss in eight games (1-5-2) since their 10-game winning streak ended.

They have a three-point lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference but have played three more games than the Maple Leafs. They also have a three-point lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have played one game less than the Flyers.

"We know that we have to find a way to win some games here because we don't want to chase the playoffs again," Voracek said. "If you spend so much energy in March, April, late February to get into the playoffs it takes a lot out of you. … We did good in those 10 games but it's past. You can't worry about the past. You have to focus on the game ahead of us."

Video: NYR@PHI: Hayes snaps puck past Mason for second goal

Goal of the game

On his first goal, Hayes skated down the right side and faked a pass across to Jesper Fast before beating Mason.

Video: NYR@PHI: Hayes shows off wheels, nets opening goal


Save of the game

Brayden Schenn had a chance in the high slot at 6:17 of the second that Lundqvist swatted away with his glove, and then from a sitting position Lundqvist dove to his left to snare Schenn's shot on the rebound.

Video: NYR@PHI: Lundqvist dives to corral Schenn's shot

Highlight of the game

On the rush, Rangers forward Derek Stepan flipped a backhand saucer pass to Kreider to set up his goal at 5:01 of the third period.

Video: NYR@PHI: Kreider slides puck underneath Mason


Unsung performance of the game

Hayes held a Claude Giroux clearing attempt in along the wall in the Flyers zone and got the puck back to Dan Girardi at the right point to start the play that led to Grabner's goal at 11:13 of the third.

Video: NYR@PHI: Grabner's empty-netter seals Rangers' win


They said it

"Tonight we had a winnable game going into the third period. We flinched first. We gave them the first goal. … But we've got 20-some minutes yet to keep digging in, grinding, playing the right way, to tie the game up. We didn't do that tonight. We gave up the three easy goals, in my opinion, in the third period." -- Flyers coach Dave Hakstol


Need to know

Lundqvist improved to 7-0-1 in his last eight games against the Flyers. … Kreider's goal was his eighth in eight games. … The Flyers lost for the first time in nine home games (7-1-1). … Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said defenseman Mark Streit, who last played Dec. 11 because of a shoulder injury, has been cleared for contact and will travel for the games against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday and the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. "We're hoping in three, four, five more days, depending on how things go," Hextall said. … The Flyers activated defenseman Mark Alt from the non-roster injured reserve list and sent forward Roman Lyubimov to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. The Flyers said Alt will be placed on waivers Thursday and Lyubimov will be recalled Friday.


What's next

Rangers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG 2, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, CSN-PH, SUN, NHL.TV)


Video: Lundqvist, Hayes power Rangers to 5-2 win in Philly

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