Rangers Get In the Way; Take Game 3
Henrik Lundqvist wasn't the only person standing in the way of the Flyers on Tuesday.
The New York Rangers goaltender had an entire team jumping in front of pucks, helping the Swedish netminder stop the Flyers' constant barrage of shots. It resulted in a 4-1 win for the Rangers and a 2-1 series lead.
The two teams will face off in Game 4 on Friday in Philadelphia. And if the Flyers want some type of good news heading into that game, it looks like Steve Mason will be starting.
Ray Emery was not good in Game 3, stopping just 16 shots and allowing four goals. He was pulled following a breakaway goal surrendered to Daniel Carcillo, who was coming out of the penalty box.
Emery didn't put his team in a good position to win once against. The Rangers had a 2-0 lead midway through the first period, and it was an uphill battle for the Flyers all night.
The Flyers played well for the remaining two and a half periods, Emery felt, but all the momentum built from Game 2 was given right back.
"Yea, we like playing at home, we expect to do well at home," Emery told reporters. "I thought we deserved a better result."
The Flyers scored their only goal of the game at the end of the first period. Once again the defense got itself involved in the rush and it was Mark Streit who put the puck home to make it 2-1.
The Flyers had a lot of chances to even the game up but couldn't. They failed on five power play opportunities, and even hit the post a couple times in the third period when trailing 3-1.
It was the result of frustrations that built all game, and nothing frustrated the Flyers more than the Rangers stifling defense. The Rangers blocked 28 shots, the second most total by a Flyers opponent this season. (The Toronto Maple Leafs blocked 30 on March 8.)
"That’s one thing we need to look and make sure that the puck goes through," captain Claude Giroux said. "Our defense did a good job blocking shots. When it’s going to start going through, it’ll start going in.”
Mason in Game 4?
Steve Mason played the final 7 minutes, 15 seconds of the game, stopping three shots. Perhaps it was a warmup for a possible Game 4 start.
“It’s good to get back out there," Mason said. "I haven’t played in I guess almost two weeks or so, and it was nice to get my feet wet again and I look forward to maybe the next game.”
Getting the feel for the speed of the game again was good for Mason's mental state, he said.
"You can practice as much as you want but once the game rolls around, things happen quickly and you can’t control everything out there, so it was good to get back out and get the eight or so minutes under my belt,” he said.
Mason doesn't know if he's going to start Game 4. That's a decision Craig Berube will make. But if he's called upon to start, Mason told reporters he is healthy enough to go.
Of all the frustrations for the Flyers, probably the sickest feeling was seeing Carcillo streaking out of the penalty box and beating Emery. It was the icing on a very inedible cake.
After Carcillo's goal, he skated over to the boards and posed for the fans, sending a message to the crowd that booed him while he laid on the ice after a hit from Matt Read. He also chirped at the Flyers bench while skating back, sending a message to his former team.
After the game, Carcillo had some choice words about the fans in Philadelphia.
"Nothing surprises me about this city and the way people act,” he said.
Game 4 is going to be interesting.