The New York Rangers took advantage of Jason Akeson‘s double minor for high sticking to score a pair of power play goals in a span of 49 seconds to break open a 1-1 game and cruise to a 4-1 win. The Philadelphia Flyers held the lead in the first period on Andrew MacDonald‘s point shot, but that was all they could manage to get past Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced.
Mats Zuccarello knotted the game less than 4 minutes after MacDonald broke the ice, and that was the way it stayed until Akeson, making his NHL playoff debut, caught Carl Hagelin with an errant stick 7 and a half minutes into the third period. The Rangers power play put on a clinic and Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored to break the game open. Hagelin added another insurance goal with just over 4 minutes left to seal the deal for New York.
Ray Emery, starting for the concussed Steve Mason, played well stopping 32 of 35 shots while watching the team in front of him manage just 1 third period shot against his counterpart Lundqvist. Richards led the way with a goal and also set up 2 others for a nice playoff return after sitting out the final two games of the Boston Bruins second round series as a healthy scratch.
The Flyers will look to steal home ice advantage while the Rangers will attempt to take a stranglehold when they take back to MSG ice after 2 days off on Sunday afternoon.