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Rangers hang on to beat Flyers in Game 5
With goals from Marc Staal, Brad Richards, Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle, the Rangers edged the Flyers, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden Sunday to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Game 6 is Tuesday in Philadelphia, and Game 7, if necessary, would be back in New York on Wednesday.
Down 3-1 with three minutes to play, Flyers coach Craig Berube pulled goalie Steve Mason, and Claude Giroux scored his first goal of the series with 1:29 to play. But Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers held on, and Boyle scored an empty-netter with 15 seconds to play.
With his first goal indoors since Nov. 12 (he had one outdoors at Yankee Stadium in late January), Staal gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 11:33 of the first period, taking a pass on the rush from Martin St. Louis and wristing a shot from the left circle past Mason. It was St. Louis' fourth assist and sixth point of the series. Derek Stepan, who had a solid first period, also received an assist.
The Rangers had to kill two early penalties assessed to Carl Hagelin, the first of which came after Giroux fell on his own on a rush and Hagelin was whistled for slashing. The Flyers had no shots on that man advantage. Hagelin was sent off for a crosscheck on Giroux at 7:28, and this time the Flyers had three shots. They had none on Lundqvist (21 saves) for the first 7:24.
After Staal's goal, the Rangers had their first power play when Vinny Lecavalier was sent off for holding at 12:03, but the Rangers didn't put a shot on Mason. Outshot 8-6 and winning only 38 percent of the faceoffs, the Rangers were, however, credited with 15 hits to the Flyers' six after 20 minutes.
Richards made it 2-0 on a backhander past Mason seconds after Flyers defenseman Hal Gill, subbing for the injured Nicklas Grossman, missed a one-timer wide at the other end. Hagelin and J.T. Miller, the 21-year-old forward who was making his NHL playoff debut, replacing Dan Carcillo in the lineup, had the assists.
Earlier in the second, a Rangers' goal was waved off after a quick whistle from referee Justin St. Pierre at 2:14. A shot by John Moore trickled between Mason's legs into the crease and was poked in by St. Louis, but Pierre had ruled the play dead and was not reviewable. That infuriated the crowd, and the derisive chants rained down.
After Richards' goal, the Rangers had to kill two more Flyer power plays, one on Kevin Klein and Hagelin's third, a hook in front that may have saved a goal.
Then Dominic Moore, who also scored in Philadelphia in Game 4, was forechecking, scooped up a bouncing puck that was misplayed by Gill and beat Mason in close at 16:20 for a 3-0 lead.
After Anton Stralman was shoved into the crease but was sent off for goaltender interference at 18:16, the Flyers scored on their fifth power play when Lecavalier's shot went past Lundqvist after it was deflected by Klein.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the winner of Game 5 of a 2-2 series has won 180 of 227 best-of-sevens, close to 80 percent.