Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - In his first start since Feb. 8, Steve Mason made 34 saves to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Mason made 16 of those saves in the third period to end Philadelphia's two- game losing streak and stay firmly in the playoff race.
Matt Read, Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds scored goals for the Flyers, and the winner came early in the third period when Michael Del Zotto scored short- handed.
The Rangers lost their 10-game point streak despite goals from J.T. Miller and John Moore. Cam Talbot made 30 saves in the loss.
The Rangers started the third period on the power play, but it was the Flyers scoring a go-ahead goal. Del Zotto scored against his former team when New York failed to pick him up in transition. Sean Couturier set him up, and Del Zotto snapped a shot by Talbot.
"Our power play has to find a way to get it done. We certainly can't get scored on it for sure," Rangers forward Derek Stepan said.
With seven minutes to play, the Rangers were buzzing. Mason, though, was up to the task. He had to stretch out his left pad to get enough of Rick Nash's shot from the side of the net, just one of a few attempts in a sustained flurry.
"They were more like desperation saves," Mason said of the sequence. "I'm not sure if I can remember all seven of them, but there was a big one on Rick Nash where I came across with my left skate. That was a good test for the knee there."
A late power play for the Flyers did not produce a goal, but they were able to maintain possession of the puck and run down the clock. There was less than a second left when Simmonds scored an empty-net goal.
It looked like the Rangers took a 1-0 lead seven seconds into the game when Stepan's shot from the neutral zone skipped past Mason, but a further look at the play showed New York was offsides.
The Flyers scored the first goal that actually counted. A rebound from Couturier's shot popped up in the air, and after batting it down out of midair, Read tucked the puck into the net.
However, New York only needed 24 seconds to respond. Carl Hagelin took the puck away from a defenseman and found Miller open in the slot. Miller's first shot was stopped by Mason, but he followed up his own rebound and scored on the backhand.
Play between the teams was even in the first half of the second period, and a fortunate bounce gave the Rangers their first lead. Moore's slap shot from the point was going wide, but it was redirected off Braydon Coburn's skate and into the net.
Minutes later, Coburn helped get that goal back for Philadelphia. He wristed a shot from the blue line, and Raffl deflected it past Talbot to tie the game.
New York had outscored Philadelphia 10-2 over three previous meetings ... Flyers defenseman Nick Grossmann left the game after blocking a shot in the second period ... On Friday, the Flyers traded defenseman Kimmo Timonen to the Blackhawks for two draft picks. Timonen has not played this season due to a blood clot ... New York's Kevin Hayes lost his three-game point streak.