The Philadelphia Flyers hosted the New York Rangers for game four of the series on Friday night and Jakub Voracek’s powerplay goal in the second period was enough to give the Flyers a 2-1 victory.
This win ties the series at two games each, with Matt Read also scoring for the Flyers.
Goaltender Steve Mason seemed unbeatable after conceding early in the game. Mason made 36 saves on the night, including an outstanding pad save with Mats Zuccarello in close. With this win, Mason also recorded his first ever playoff victory. Dominic Moore scored the Rangers' only goal and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 shots.
The New York Rangers leave Philadelphia with a loss despite outshooting the Flyers 34-23 in the game. Both teams had several powerplay opportunities, but the Rangers just didn’t have an answer for the outstanding play of Mason.
The aggressive forecheck of the Flyers seemed to really cripple the Rangers' offensive attacks throughout the game as well.
The New York Rangers' defense did a great job covering Flyers captain Claude Giroux throughout the game. However, the Rangers' inability to convert their powerplay opportunities really hurt them in this game.
I believe this game was the turning point of the series. If Mason can play as well as he did Friday on the road, the Rangers will be in serious trouble.
This series has been filled with all kinds of entertaining physical play. Both teams tallied an impressive 33 hits in Friday’s game. Daniel Carcillo and Scotty Hartnell simply love using their size and skill to try and change the momentum of these games.
If the Rangers can find some rhythm on their powerplay, I believe they’ll have a good chance of winning game five at home.
I still believe that the New York Rangers have a slight advantage over the Flyers and that advantage is Lundqvist, who has far more playoff experience than Mason.
Mason will be on an emotional rollercoaster after recording his first playoff win and I’m not sure he’ll be able to stay focused enough to outlast Lundqvist twice.
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