NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan scored twice in the third period to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.
Derick Brassard scored early and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots as the Rangers improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games. They also beat the Flyers at home for the 11th time in 12 games.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
Brayden Schenn spoiled Lundqvist’s shutout with 9.7 seconds left in the third period with his 16th goal of the season, but the Flyers lost for the fifth time in six games. Steve Mason finished with 27 saves.
Stepan’s first score, at 10:34 of the third, was his 100th career goal. His second made it 3-0 with 6:06 remaining when he rifled his 12th goal of the season past Mason from the left circle. Mats Zuccarello got his second assist of the game on the play.
Brassard’s goal at 5:08 of the opening period came on a wraparound against Mason with assists to Keith Yandle and Dan Girardi. Brassard tied a career high with his 19th goal and also tied Zuccarello for the team lead.
The game was tense early as Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath and the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds fought 39 seconds into the game. The Rangers made it known they would avenge a punch by Simmonds to the jaw of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh when the teams met in Philadelphia on Feb. 6. McDonagh has been out of action since with a concussion, missing four games so far.
Twenty seconds later, Rangers forward Tanner Glass and the flyers’ Ryan White tangled at center ice in a lengthy bout.
And like the days when the Flyers were known as the Broad Street Bullies and regularly fought the Rangers at the Garden and the Spectrum in Philadelphia, the penalty boxes became more crowded when Philadelphia’s Chris VandeVelde and Zuccarello were penalized for cross-checking each other.
The Flyers had a great chance late in the first when Zuccarello was assessed a four-minute penalty for high-sticking Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Lundqvist made several diving saves as the Rangers killed it off.READ MORE: Here's How To Help Your Pet Stay Calm, Safe During Fourth Of July Fireworks
The game essentially settled down after the early fisticuffs though Simmonds was booed each time he touched the puck.
In the second, the Rangers and Lundqvist continued to frustrate the Flyers on the power play. Lundqvist made six saves in the middle period, including an emphatic glove save on Nick Cousins just as the Flyers’ fourth power play of the game expired late in the period.
Lundqvist improved to 28-14-4 this season and continued his mastery over the Flyers. He is 17-3-1 against Philadelphia starting with a 7-0 shutout at the Garden on Mar. 6, 2011.
The Rangers also continued their season-long dominating play at home, where they are 21-5-3 and 8-0-2 in their last 10. They haven’t lost at home in regulation since a 7-3 defeat to Washington on Dec. 20.
The Rangers have a five-point cushion over the third-place Devils and six-point lead on the Islanders in fourth. They trail the first-place Washington Capitals by 14 points.
The Rangers wore white at home for the eighth time since blue became their home uniform in 2003-04. The Rangers are 7-1-0 at the Garden wearing white since the switch.
NOTES: Rangers F Rick Nash missed his ninth straight game due to a bone bruise suffered Jan. 22 at Carolina. … The Flyers recalled former Islanders D Andrew MacDonald to replace the injured former Ranger Michael Del Zotto. … The Flyers scratched F Jordan Weal, F Sam Gagner and D Brandon Manning.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Boys Choir Heads To Puerto Rico For First Trip Since Pandemic: 'It's Really Exciting'
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