Rangers vs. Flyers Game 6 recap: Flyers pound Rangers 5-2, force Game 7
The Rangers struggled to move the puck in their own zone, and the Flyers cruised to a Game 6 victory to force a Game 7 Wednesday night in New York.
The Rangers opened a self-inflicted wound, and then just kept further opening and opening the gash as the night went on.
Despite a dominant start to the night, an early penalty derailed the Rangers' momentum, and it continued to go downhill as the game went on, as the Flyers forced a decisive Game 7 with the biggest blowout of the series, winning Tuesday night 5-2.
Benoit Pouliot was hit with a holding penalty 5:23 into the game, wrapping up Claude Giroux in the offensive zone away from the play. On the ensuing power play, a failed clearing attempt by Dan Girardi led to a Flyers' opportunity, and Wayne Simmonds finished off the play (a common theme in Game 6) to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers settled down after conceding, and went on to register 13 shots through the game's first 20 minutes. But Steve Mason turned in a strong opening period, keeping New York at bay, and the deficit at one.
In the second period, the Rangers completely unraveled. Simmonds scored his second of the night only 1:32 in after another Girardi turnover led to a 2-on-1 down low. Girardi blocked a shot on that initial Flyers' power play in the opening period, and really struggled to move the puck in his own end all night.
Just when it seemed like the Rangers might cut the deficit in half, Mason came up big, and the Flyers pushed their lead to three. On a New York power play, Pouliot was robbed by Mason who flashed the glove on a snap shot labeled for the top corner. When the puck made its way back down the ice, Erik Gustafsson came out of the penalty box, took a headman pass, and beat Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead.
With the Rangers facing a steep deficit, Derek Dorsett tried to get in hard on the forecheck to make a play, but tripped up Mark Streit, setting up the Flyers on another power play. With the man advantage, Jakub Voracek worked a puck through the netmouth and Simmonds deflected home for his hat trick goal, and a 4-0 Flyers lead through two periods.
Cam Talbot came out in relief of Lundqvist to start the third period. Lundqvist allowed four goals on 23 shots, none of which the Rangers' netminder really had a chance at.
Carl Hagelin broke the shutout late in the third, but it was all but a formality at that point with the Flyers comfortably ahead, and the win in tow.
Mason played a very strong game, making a number of quality saves to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard. New York wasn't without its offensive chances, but Mason turned aside 34 shots on the day. In their own end, the Rangers struggled to deal with Philadelphia's pressure on puck carriers, as Girardi and McDonagh were a combined minus-two, and really had trouble moving the puck to start plays in transition.
Claude Giroux would add an empty-netter to push Philadelphia's edge to 5-1, and Mats Zuccarello followed with a goal in the game's closing minutes to wrap up the night's scoring.
Game 7 will be Wednesday night in New York at 7 p.m.