NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers maintained their season-long mastery of the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.
Derick Brassard scored two goals to lead the Rangers to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
“We’re playing the right way,” Brassard said. “Hopefully we’re on the right path and looking ahead.”
Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller and Lee Stempniak also scored for New York, which swept the Flyers in a home-and home matchup on consecutive days.
The Rangers have also won the first three matchups of the season against Philadelphia. The teams will play once more this season, Feb. 28 in Philadelphia.
“(Philadelphia is) a team that is struggling a little bit right now,” said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 21 saves for New York.
“When you get going against a team like Philly I think you put yourself in a good spot by just working really hard and making it really tough for them.”
Nicklas Grossmann and Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia, which has lost four in a row and eight of nine.
“It’s mental,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “Every guy has to man up and do their job.
“My job is to get these guys going in the right direction.”
The Flyers players dismissed any notion that the team needs a trade or a coaching change. Berube replaced Peter Laviolette after the third game of the 2013-14 season and guided Philadelphia to a playoff berth where they were eliminated in the first round by New York.
“It’s on us,” Wayne Simmonds said. “This has nothing to do with the coach, nothing to do with systems.”
Brassard’s second goal of the game broke a 2-2 tie at 3:06 of the third. The play began with a 3-on-2 break from New York’s defensive zone. As the Rangers entered the offensive zone, Kevin Hayes found Brassard with a cross-ice pass and the New York center fired a shot over a sliding Luke Schenn and past Flyers goalie Ray Emery.
“I felt (my line) needed to step up a little bit,” Brassard said. “I needed to shoot the puck more to get those scoring chances and that’s (what’s) happening.”
Miller made it 4-2 at 9:54 with a wraparound that beat Emery. Miller’s goal was his first of the season. Stempniak added an empty-netter with 23.9 seconds left.
Fast’s goal was the first of his career.
“It’s great,” Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said of Fast’s and Miller’s offensive contributions. “It’s nice to see that.”
Brassard opened the scoring at 2:50 of the first by sending Rick Nash’s pass past Emery. The goal came on a four-minute power play, as Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking John Moore.
Grossmann tied it at 13:46 of the first, with a shot that beat Lundqvist high. The goal ended New York’s shutout streak against Philadelphia this season at 135:39.
Philadelphia went ahead 2-1 on Voracek’s power-play shot from the right circle 8:45 into the second. But the lead didn’t last long as Fast got New York even at 2-2 at 11:38, and set the stage for the Rangers’ three-goal third period.
The Flyers lamented their third-period collapse as they believed they could have left New York with at least one point.
“Going into the third 2-2 we thought it was a good position,” Emery said. “I have to make the saves in the third. It’s all I can do.”
New York was 1 for 4 on the power play. Philadelphia went 1 for 1 on the man advantage. The Rangers outshot the Flyers 35-23.
NOTES: The Rangers did not have Tanner Glass and Dan Boyle due to illness. During his pregame news conference, New York coach Alain Vigneault reported Glass has a case of the mumps while Boyle has the flu. Glass joins Anaheim Ducks players Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry, and Minnesota Wild players Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella to have mumps this season. … Miller dressed in place of Chris Kreider, who learned of his grandfather’s death following New York’s 3-0 win over Philadelphia Friday afternoon. …Philadelphia scratched defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and Andrew MacDonald, and left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
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