New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The New York Rangers inched closer to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after beating the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Marc Staal, Brad Richards, Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle scored while Henrik Lundqvist recorded 24 saves as the Rangers took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
The Rangers can advance to the next round with a win in Game 6 on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Game 7, if necessary, will be played Wednesday in New York.
The Rangers haven’t won a series in fewer than seven games since beating the New Jersey Devils in five games in the first round of the 2008 playoffs.
Vincent Lecavalier and Claude Giroux scored while goalie Steve Mason stopped 18 of 21 shots for the Flyers.
The Rangers opened scoring at 11:53 of the first period on Staal’s first goal of the postseason. Martin St. Louis sent the puck to the left side to Staal, and his shot went off the shaft of Braydon Coburn’s stick and under Mason’s blocker.
It was Staal’s first playoff goal since May 6, 2012. It also marked the fourth straight game the Rangers scored the first goal.
Richards padded the lead to 2-0 when he scored his second of the postseason at 8:07 of the second. Moore made it a three-goal game when he jumped on the loose puck in the slot and beat a helpless Mason at 16:20 of the second.
Philadelphia got on the board when Lecavalier scored on the power play with 32.6 seconds left. The goal was Lecavalier’s first in the playoffs since May 17, 2011, when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Flyers cut the deficit to 3-2 when Giroux scored from the left circle with 1:29 remaining in the third period but that was all Philadelphia could get despite pulling Mason for an extra attacker for the final three minutes of the game.
Boyle closed the game with an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining.