Keeping up with the series we’ve been doing since game one at PhillySportsNetwork, we’ve gotten to notable game sixes in Flyers playoff history. This time around, we take a look at the Flyers/Ranger matchup during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Flyers found themselves down 3-2 in the series. After a back and forth series, the Flyers found themselves facing elimination in front of their home crowd during game six. With a dangerous Rangers team looking to close out the series, the Flyers were on the ropes.
The Flyers found themselves making the same mistakes that cost them prior games in the series. Scott Hartnell gave the puck up along the near boards. Carl Hagelin swooped in to gather the puck. He skated across the crease and let go a wrister that was blocked by Andrew MacDonald. The puck bounced back to Hagelin, now at the right dot, and he shot again, but Steve Mason came up big and kept the game at a 0-0 draw about five minutes in.
Two minutes later, the Flyers found themselves on the powerplay. Claude Giroux found Scott Hartnell across the right dot. Hartnell one-timed it, but Henrik Lundqvist made the save. Wayne Simmonds was there for the rebound to Henrik’s right. He took the puck across Lundqvist and slammed it home to his left, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first frame.
Later in the period, the Rangers found themselves a great opportunity to tie it up. Benoit Pouliot and Luke Schenn were chasing down the puck in the corner of the Flyers zone. While battling, Derek Stepan and Anton Stralman were driving. Vincent Lecavalier and Erik Gustafsson were caught watching the battle, as Pouliot fed Stepan, who turned to Stralman. Stralman let go a wrist shot, but Mason once again came up big once again.
The second period was all Flyers from the get-go. Dan Girardi and Brayden Schenn were in a battle for the puck about a minute and a half into the middle frame. Schenn came away with the puck and drove the net with Ryan McDonagh between him and King Henrik. Schenn slid one through McDonagh’s legs for Wayne Simmonds, who scored his second of the night. The Flyers took a 2-0 lead in the first few minutes of the second.
Mason came up huge once again, as Brad Richards was behind his own net on a Rangers powerplay. He hit Mats Zuccarello on a stretch pass, springing him for a 2-on-1 chance with Pouliot. Zuccarello passed to Pouliot who had a prime chance on Mason, but Mase made a windmill glove save, keeping the Flyers up 2-0.
On the same powerplay, Derick Brassard entered the zone on a last-ditch effort to capitalize on the man advantage. He passed to his left for Zuccarello, but the puck went behind him as powerplay time expired. Braydon Coburn swooped in to grab the puck and floated one into the neutral zone for Erik Gustafsson. Fresh out of the box, Gustafsson gathered the puck in the Rangers zone. Lundqvist had come out of the net momentarily, thinking he could play the puck. He decided against that, as Gustafsson gained control and fired a wrister five-hole, putting the Flyers up 3-0 at 14:17 of the second period.
The Flyers weren’t done just yet. Around the 15 minute mark, the Flyers found themselves on the man advantage. Claude Giroux fed Jakub Voracek across the width of the ice. Voracek cut towards the slot, finding a seem. He flung one towards the net, but Wayne Simmonds was there for the redirect. Simmonds netted his third goal of the game at 15:19 of the middle period, extending the Flyers lead to four.
Almost a quarter of the way through the final frame, Ryan McDonagh was circling the net. He came out on the other end, backhanded on Mason, but Mason made the save. Derek Dorsett was there to backhand another attempt, but another save. Dorsett went to the forehand, and lifted the puck across the crease. Luke Schenn checked Brian Boyle from behind, subsequently knocking the puck into the net. After replay, the refs determined the puck was knocking in by Boyle’s hand, so the score remained 4-0 Philadelphia.
Almost ten minutes later, Anton Stralman found himself with the puck at the point in the Flyers zone. Stralman would fake the shot, shake the Flyers defender, and take the shot on Mason. Mason would make the save, but the rebound would bounce out to Carl Hagelin, who put home the rebound, finally putting New York on the board as well.
With almost four minutes remaining, the Rangers pulled their goalie in hopes of igniting a comeback. Marc Staal had the puck in his own zone as he tried to clear. The clearing attempt would be knocked down by Claude Giroux at the point. Giroux knocked the puck down to the ice, and fired one that hit the back of the net, giving the Flyers a 5-1 lead.
The Rangers would add one late from the stick of Mats Zuccarello, but it wouldn’t matter. The Flyers, behind an incredible performance from netminder Steve Mason, would even the series with game seven in New York looming.
What Happened Next
The Flyers would head to Madison Square Garden with the momentum in the series. The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period, and the Flyers were left to play catch-up. They got one back with an Akeson goal almost five minutes into the third, but came up just short as time expired. The Flyers season ended after the first round of the playoffs, and the Rangers went on to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings.
Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports