With their backs against the wall, the Philadelphia Flyers’ top line went to work and when the dust settled Wayne Simmonds had his first career hat trick and a ticket back to New York for game 7 with the Rangers.
The first 5 minutes saw the Flyers look nervous, turning the puck over multiple times in their own end, but they were bailed out by Steve Mason each time. A Flyers power play allowed Simmonds’ first goal, as he had a couple of cracks at it from in close and the second one got through Henrik Lundqvist.
Early in the second period Brayden Schenn stole the puck from Dan Girardi and drove the net. The puck slipped off the stick of Schenn but right to Simmonds who slammed it home for the second goal of the game. The Rangers were still in the game until about the 14 minute mark of the period, and that is when a close game got out of their reach. Erik Gustafsson came out of the box following a Flyers penalty kill and found himself on a breakaway from the blue line, finishing the play with a wrist shot on Lundqvist. Then a minute later with the Flyers on another power play, Jakub Voracek found Simmonds at the edge of the crease and he tipped it past Lundqvist to complete the hat trick and make it a 4-0 game.
Lundqvist was on the bench to start the third, obviously resting considering the score and the fact that game 7 will be the next night. Carl Hagelin got the Rangers on the board with 6 and a half minutes left but coach Alain Vigneault pulled Cam Talbot with 4:39 remaining, and Claude Giroux iced it with the empty netter less than 30 seconds later. Mats Zuccarello rounded out the scoring for the Rangers in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough as there will be a game 7 on Wednesday night.
Mason was giving a standing ovation for his performance, making 34 saves in the Flyers net.