Postseason play doesn't begin for another month and a half. If the standings stay where they are, Saturday's game between the Flyers and New York Rangers was a playoff preview. There were big hits, big saves, big penalty kills and – for the Flyers – a big two points in the standings with a 4-2 victory to get within one point of the Rangers in the standings. “They win that game, a four-point game, they open up a five-point gap,” Wayne Simmonds said. “We got those two points and closed it to one. It's awesome for us. It keeps us alive. We still have faith in ourselves to finish second in the division.” Being conscious of where they are in the standings, the Flyers put together one of their more strenuous efforts of the season for a character win. They are now 4-0-1 this season in games following a loss of four goals or more. “This was a hard win,” said goalie Steve Mason, who made 33 saves. “There's been games throughout the year where they've been intense for 40 minutes, 35 minutes. This felt, from start to finish, that it was gonna be a grind.” Mason was tested early with a pair of Rangers power plays in the first five minutes of the game. He saved all the New York offerings and propelled the Flyers to take the lead shortly thereafter. At 7:04 of the first period, Vinny Lecavalier deflected a shot from Simmonds on the net of Henrik Lundqvist. The puck went off the stick of Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman and in the net. “That's huge,” Lecavalier said. "Right after we killed those two off, it seemed like everybody came out. It's really important. You want to get that first goal. We got that. The penalty killing at the beginning of the game was huge for us. They did a great job."
Flyers top Rangers, gain some ground
Courier-Post | Mar 2