Philadelphia, PA – Steve Mason posted 38 saves to notch his first victory as a Flyer and help Philadelphia keep its slim playoff chances alive with a 4-2 triumph over the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center.
Mason had dropped back-to-back decisions since coming over from Columbus on April 3, but the 24-year-old netminder turned away all but one of the 17 shots he faced in the third to send the Flyers to their second straight victory.
"It was an important game for myself and the team," Mason said. "This was a must-win in terms of the playoff race with them being in the eighth playoff spot right now. That was a big win."
Kimmo Timonen tallied a goal and an assist, while Brayden Schenn, Erik Gustafsson and Jakub Voracek each scored once for Philadelphia, which moved within five points of the Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with five games left.
Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello netted a goal apiece, while Henrik Lundqvist allowed three goals on 21 shots for the Rangers, who had won two straight.
"We just couldn't solve Mason," Rangers coach John Tortorella admitted. "We developed some offense, we couldn't solve Mason."
With 46 points, New York sits tied with Winnipeg, which beat Tampa Bay Tuesday, for the No. 8 seed in the East. The Rangers, though, do have a game in hand.
New York cut into its deficit just 2:54 into the second when Zuccarello fired a wrister from the right circle that whizzed past Mason to make it 2-1, but the Flyers answered at the midpoint of the frame on Timonen's fifth of the year.
After Rangers winger Ryan Clowe was whistled for boarding at the 9:42 mark, Claude Giroux won an offensive zone faceoff back to the high slot, where Timonen stepped into a one-timer that beat Lundqvist low to the far side to restore Philadelphia's two-goal lead at the halfway point of the contest.
The Rangers again pulled within a goal at the 7:28 mark of the third when Stepan recovered a bouncing puck in the slot and pounded it past Mason.
However, Mason, who appeared to sustain a lower-body injury during the Rangers' third-period flurry, was able to fight through the pain and keep the visitors off the board before Voracek added an empty-netter with 14 seconds left.
Philadelphia struck first near the midpoint of the opening frame, as Brandon Manning fired a shot from the high slot that was knocked down, but Schenn recovered the loose puck on the left wing and buried a wrister past Lundqvist to make it 1-0 at the 9:28 mark.
The Flyers doubled their edge late in the frame when Gustafsson rifled a one- timer from the top of the right circle that sailed past Lundqvist on the short side for a 2-0 lead at 17:21.
New York had won three straight against Philadelphia ... Manning's assist on Schenn's goal was his first NHL point ... Philadelphia improved to 13-6-2 at home, while the Rangers dropped to 8-11-2 on the road ... Philadelphia went 1- for-2 on the power play ... New York failed on all five of its chances with the man advantage ... Voracek's goal was his 19th of the season to set a new career high.