Fans were on their feet at the Wells Fargo Center before the puck dropped for game 6. Taking their positions in net, Steve Mason (PHI) and Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) matched up for the third time in the series.
With a sloppy start early in the first period, the Flyers were sent on the power play early on. After multiple chances on the man advantage, Wayne Simmonds wasted no time tipping the puck past Lundqvist earning the first goal of the game for Philadelphia.
Changing the line combinations throughout the period, Flyers head coach Craig Berube found success with his adjustments.
With 6:42 left in the period, Flyers turn the puck over 8 times giving the Rangers ample scoring opportunities. At the end of the first period, Flyers lead the Rangers 1-0 with 13 shots a piece.
Coming out for the second frame, Brayden Schenn found the puck his stick beginning a rush with Simmonds. Passing the puck right in front Lundqvist, Simmonds scored his second goal of the game.
Guilty of high sticking, Erik Gustafsson was sent to the penalty box. After killing off the two minute punishment, Gustafsson came out of the box with a breakaway pass from defenseman Braydon Coburn and extended the Flyers lead 3-0.
About two minutes later, Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Simmonds set up in front of Lundqvist. Scoring his first NHL playoff hattrick, Simmonds lit the lamp for the Flyers. Flyers fans tossed 640 hats onto the Wells Fargo Center ice celebrating the forward’s success.
Despite his hattrick celebration, Simmonds was sent to the sin bin with 2.4 seconds left in the period, giving the Rangers the man advantage for the start of the third period.
Ranger’s backup goaltender Cam Talbot took his stance in net for the third period, sending Lundqvist to the bench after giving up 4 unanswered goals. Gaining control early in the third period, Rangers did not find success on the power play.
Later, Carl Hagelin found the back of the net, getting the Rangers on the board. Answering back quickly, Giroux scored on the empty New York net increasing the lead 5-1.
Frustration took over the Rangers with minutes left in the period. Chirping back and forth throughout the game, Adam Hall and Brian Boyle dropped the gloves.
After going after Simmonds, Mats Zuccarello slipped the puck past Mason. Simmonds sent Flyers fans to their feet as he exited the game and went down the tunnel after receiving a game misconduct.
Continuing to cheer on the home team, Flyers fans remained on their feet as the final horn sounded. Flyers took the win over the Rangers 5-2, forcing game 7.
“Those are moments that send chills down your spine,” said Flyers goaltender Steve Mason said after receiving a standing ovation and cheers from fans. “You have 20,000 people chanting your name. That doesn’t happen too often, so you kind of take it in. They were showing their appreciation, so you just put your stick up in the air to acknowledge them.” He continued, “That’s the type of moment that when you look back on your career will be really special.” Mason stopped 34 shots in Tuesday night’s victory.
Unhappy with his team’s efforts, Rangers’ forward Brad Richards stated, “It was one of those nights where we just couldn’t execute,” he said. “This team is not going to be thinking about what happened tonight. It’s over once we get on the train. You have to move on quick.”
After suffering a lower body injury in Game 4 on April 25th, Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann underwent surgery on Tuesday morning. “Nicklas had successful surgery this morning to repair tendon damage in his right ankle suffered in Game 4 of this playoff series. Nicklas will be out of action for 8-10 weeks.” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren stated prior to Game 6 start. In the regular season Grossmann contributed a goal and 13 assists. Erik Gustafsson took Grossmann’s place in the lineup.
Back to Broadway for Game 7
Six games were not enough to decide the winner of the series. The Flyers and Rangers are headed back to Madison Square Garden for the series finale.
Wayne Simmonds discussed Game 7’s expectations, “We take the positives from this and keep it rolling into tomorrow night,” he said. “It’s great that we’re having it back to back. The other games, we had a couple days off.” He continued, “That’s why you saw the series go one, one, one, one. Teams had time to regroup. Now we got the momentum and can keep our foot on the pedal.”
After being benched for the third period, Lundqvist is looking forward, “I already started thinking about Game 7,” said Lundqvist. “You don’t want to analyze this too much. We have a Game 7 at home.”
Also looking into Game 7, Captain Claude Giroux stated “If we win Game 7, it’s going to feel even more special because it’s over there.”http://
With the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs just a day away, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers faceoff for the final game of the series. The winner of the series will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the next round. Game 7 action is set for Wednesday 7 p.m.