Published January 08, 2015
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Talbot stopped all 31 shots faced for his first shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers claimed a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.
"The guys did a good job of keeping a lot of shots to the outside to start the game and let me feel the puck, which is very beneficial for a goalie that doesn't get to play that often," Talbot said of his fifth appearance and first win of the year. "So when you get to feel some shots early in the first period and get yourself comfortable and engaged in the game, it's big for me."
Kevin Klein and Rick Nash supplied the necessary offense for the Rangers, who have won nine consecutive regular-season games over their division rivals at home.
Steve Mason was largely solid, making 32 saves for the Flyers, who have dropped three in a row after winning three straight.
The visitors failed to be buoyed by the last-minute addition of captain Claude Giroux, who was originally ruled out with a lower-body injury suffered in practice on Monday. Giroux felt well enough in warmups to gain a slot in the lineup but couldn't coax any scoring from his club.
"The trainers did a great job of getting me ready for the game. But I can play better," Giroux admitted. "I have to find a way to get our game going. Any time you lose three in a row there's concern."
Talbot wasn't tested much for most of the third, but had to endure some stressful final minutes.
He escaped trouble while prone in his crease inside 4 1/2 minutes remaining when Giroux kept digging at a loose puck off a Brayden Schenn shot, but the whistle blew just as Mark Streit dislodged the puck from the scrum.
In a desperate bid, Mason was pulled for an extra skater with 3:32 on the clock and though the visitors buzzed, Talbot remained firm. He made saves on Vinny Lecavalier and Streit in the first minute of the 6-on-5, then turned away a Schenn tip with 1:20 to go.
Derick Brassard missed a chance towards the empty cage inside of a minute left, and Mats Zuccarello was called for tripping with 44.9 left so the visitors went 6-on-4.
Giroux and Streit were denied on successive shots and Talbot needed to make just one more save, on Jakub Voracek, to complete the whitewash.
"From the start of the game [we] didn't skate, didn't compete," Flyers head coach Craig Berube said. "It was not a good game."
Early on, it was evident Mason was going to have to keep his team in the contest. After he was forced to make a pad stop to foil a 3-on-1 rush, Klein slipped into coverage and scored from the high slot at the 5:10 mark of the first.
Mason stopped Martin St. Louis in close and had the left post rescue him when faced with Chris Kreider alone in front in the middle portion of the period, then closed off the near post as Nash broke up the left wing on a short-handed break with seconds to go.
Nash finally gave the hosts a 2-0 lead on a power play at 7:43 of the second, tapping in a dish from St. Louis from the left side to cap quick puck movement down low starting with Derek Stepan.
"I think everybody wanted the puck tonight," St. Louis said. "Everybody wanted to be part of the solution and it reflected on the way we played. Tonight was one of those nights where everyone really wanted to make a play and wanted to have an impact on the game."
Mason, who stopped several more quality chances in the ensuing minutes, eventually sprung Lecavalier on a break with a two-zone clearing pass inside of three minutes remaining, but the 405-goal scorer flubbed the shot into Talbot's pads.
On the next shift, Talbot flashed his right pad to stone a Wayne Simmonds chance.
Philadelphia hasn't won a regular-season game in Manhattan since Feb. 20, 2011 ... Steve Valiquette was the last New York goaltender not named Henrik Lundqvist to blank the Flyers, claiming a 31-save, 2-0 shutout on the road Feb. 9, 2008 ... Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto left the game in the second period and did not return due to an undisclosed injury.