Flyers 1-4 Rangers

Never afraid to raise his fists, Daniel Carcillo made his mark in the league more as a puncher than a postseason star.

Carcillo was a little of both for New York in Game 3.

Derek StepanMartin St. LouisDan Girardi and Carcillo scored goals, leading the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.

Carcillo, a former Flyer, went eye to eye with a taunting fan after he scored an insurance goal in the third period. He had 100 penalty minutes and only four goals in the regular season -- and wanted to prove he could do more than camp out in the penalty box.

"When you get pigeonholed into a role, it's hard to change people's minds in this league," he said. "When you get in and you get an opportunity like this, you've got to make the most of it."

Lundqvist was backed by a defense that blocked 28 shots to stymie the Flyers. The Rangers took an early 2-0 lead, and that was enough of a cushion for a team that led the Eastern Conference with 25 road victories.

"You need to be strong in the middle," Lundqvist said. "It was part of our defense tonight. That's why we played so well. We got involved all over the ice."

Mark Streit scored for the Flyers. Ray Emery struggled in net in his third straight start of the postseason for Steve Mason and was lifted late in the third period.

While all signs point to Mason for Game 4, coach Craig Berube said he has not made a decision.

"I'll be ready to go," Mason said.

Mason hadn't played since he suffered an upper-body injury in a collision April 12. He got in this game with 7:15 left and the Flyers down 4-1.

Berube said Mason was healthy but the Flyers went with Emery because of his strong first two games. Emery had 31 saves in a Game 2 win.

"Ray just came off a big win. It's not a difficult decision," Berube said.

After a rough outing, it seemed liked the wrong one -- right from the start.

Rick Nash's shot wide of the net deflected off the bottom of Emery's glove, and Stepan shoveled the puck in for a 1-0 lead only 3:54 into the game.

St. Louis made it 2-0 midway through the period with a sharp deflection off Girardi's shot from the blue line. The Rangers had two goals on eight shots.

Emery settled down, and the Flyers finally generated some offensive pressure, even as leading scorer Claude Giroux failed to get going.

Giroux, third in the NHL with 86 points, had no shots on goal in the first two games and didn't get one in the first period. He did rush the net late in the first, creating space for Streit to score over Lundqvist's stick on a 4-on-4 chance.

Giroux finally attempted a shot about 6 1/2 minutes into the second period, with the Flyers down 3-1. The captain clearly needs to start scoring for the Flyers to win the series. He's not alone.

"We have to get the pucks through, even move it sideways," Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonensaid. "We have to watch tape and find a way to get them through. We have to find a way to move it around quicker."

Girardi fired a clean slapper high from the point over Emery's left shoulder for that 3-1 lead early in the second.

Down two goals, Jakub Voracek took out some pent-up frustration on Carl Hagelin with a flurry of punches that sent both players to the penalty box and sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Carcillo went after Giroux in the scrum, giving the Flyers the added bonus of a power play. But the Rangers blocked two shots on the power play.

The Rangers closed off the shooting lanes with 20 blocked shots through the first two periods. Lundqvist took care of the rest.

"It's just a matter if the D is getting involved in the play, and it doesn't matter if it's me or anyone else," Girardi said.

Carcillo sealed the win with a goal soon after he left the penalty box in the third.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400552599

Flyers 4-2 Rangers

This win was three years in the making for backup goalie Ray Emery and the rest of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Emery stood in again for injured No. 1 netminder Steve Mason and made 31 saves to help the Flyers rally from an early two-goal deficit and beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Sunday to even the first-round playoff series.

The Flyers had lost nine straight at Madison Square Garden, including 4-1 in the series opener on Thursday, since their last win there on Feb. 20, 2011. Emery hadn't won a postseason game anywhere in exactly three years for Anaheim at Nashville.

"I try to stay even-keeled, whether it's going well or you don't get off to the start you want," the 31-year-old Emery said. "I play with a system in there, and I just kind of rely on that. I've had leads before and I've been down before so it's just kind of a consistent approach."

Luke Schenn scored the go-ahead goal in the second period after Jakub Voracek and Jason Akeson got the Flyers even at 2. Wayne Simmonds sealed the win with a power-play, empty-net goal.

Now the Flyers head home, where they went 2-0 against the Rangers in the regular season. Game 3 is on Tuesday.

Philadelphia no longer has to hear about its skid in New York in which the Flyers were outscored 35-10 and never had more than two goals in any game.

"That's a huge weight off our shoulders, to come in here and get the split," Schenn said. "Going back home, we feel a bit better about ourselves."

Voracek brought the Flyers within 2-1 in the first after Martin St. Louis and Benoit Pouliot staked New York to its lead. Emery did the rest, looking especially sharp in the second and third periods.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots after a 14-save winning effort in the opener.

"They came back pretty strong late in the first, and then in the second period a lot better," Lundqvist said. "Going into the third we felt confident we could tie it.

The tide turned in the second when the Flyers caught up and went ahead despite being outshot 17-9.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault called that period his team's best of the day.

"The game can be funny sometimes," he said. "We had some Grade A chances. Our power play had some great looks. They scored two and we didn't."

Akeson tied it with a power-play goal 5:45 in off a rebound of Brayden Schenn's shot for his second career NHL tally.

It was a day of redemption for the 23-year-old Akeson, playing his fourth NHL game. His double high-sticking penalty in Game 1 led to two Rangers goals that turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 deficit in the third.

Flyers coach Craig Berube didn't consider benching him for Game 2.

"Should I sit out everybody that takes a penalty?" Berube asked. "I understand he took a four-minute penalty, but he played well. It was a mistake, and you have to learn from them. He's a good player."

Philadelphia grabbed its second lead of the series with 8:42 left in the second during a delayed penalty. Michael Raffl brought the puck in on the right side and got it to Adam Hall for a shot. Luke Schenn then put in the rebound.

The Rangers' chance for a comeback was thwarted by a penalty for too many men with 1:18 left that led to Simmonds' goal with 25.4 seconds remaining.

Unlike in Game 1, the Flyers had the puck much more often and did a better job of closing off the Rangers' passing lanes after the early deficit.

However, they continued their undisciplined ways that cost them in the opener. The Flyers killed their first penalty after Simmonds held Ryan McDonagh in the offensive zone at 1:04, but they allowed one power-play goal and were short-handed three times in the first.

Overall, the Flyers killed five of six power plays.

New York took a 1-0 lead at 4:08 after a crisp passing sequence. Rick Nash came in with speed on the left side and moved the puck into the middle to Derek Stepan, who sent a pass into the right circle to St. Louis for a one-timer he punctuated with a fist pump.

St. Louis, who had only one goal and seven assists with the Rangers in 19 regular-season games after being acquired from Tampa Bay, scored at the Garden for the first time since the trade for former captain Ryan Callahan. St. Louis has a goal and two assists in this series.

The Rangers made it 2-0 at 8:22 with their third power-play goal in two games.

More precision passing in the Philadelphia end by Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard set up another one-timer from the right side, this time by Pouliot, who got enough of the puck to put it past Emery.

The Flyers got one back on a strong move by Voracek, who skated around defenseman Ryan McDonagh on the backhand and tucked in a forehand with 5:46 left.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400552598

Flyers 1-4 Rangers

Carl Hagelin's contribution to the New York Rangers' playoff-opening win was etched all over his busted-up mouth.

Some efforts don't show up directly on the score sheet.

Hagelin took a high stick from Philadelphia's Jason Akeson with 7:35 left and had his mouth cut open. That gave the Rangers a four-minute power play, and they made the most of it.

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored 47 seconds apart, and the Rangers beat the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night to stretch their home winning streak over rival Philadelphia to nine games.

"He got me pretty good, but I will take that," Hagelin said with a smile through his injured mouth. "Anytime that happens, you're ready to take one for the team, especially on a day like this when it's tied."

Hagelin said the double penalty was called when the referee saw he was bleeding a lot. No stitches were required to close the wound.

The effect on Akeson remains to be seen. The 23-year-old forward was called up for the Flyers' final game of the regular season for the second straight year. He has played in only three career NHL games.

"I went to hit him, and my back leg swung out and my stick came up," Akeson said. "It was unfortunate. It's not like I went out there trying to take a four-minute penalty. It was a sick feeling watching them score."

Richards gave the Rangers their first lead when a rebound of Martin St. Louis' shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22.

Richards and St. Louis hooked up again to help set up Stepan's insurance goal. New York worked the puck around the Philadelphia end, and Richards faked a drive. He instead sent a hard pass to Stepan for a shot into the open left side.

"If you don't score or don't get momentum there, it can go the other way pretty quickly, and they can build off that," Richards said. "One was huge, but to be able to go back out there and get the other one, obviously that won us the game."

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald had given the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Rangers answered with Mats Zuccarello's goal.

Hagelin pushed New York's edge to 4-1 with 4:08 left off another assist from Richards.

Henrik Lundqvist made 14 saves for the win. Ray Emery, subbing for injured No. 1 goalie Steve Mason, stopped 32 shots in the loss. The Flyers had one shot in the third period.

"I thought we were in good position tied going into the third, and obviously we would like to have a better third period, but it's a long series," Emery said. "We came in here for two games, we have to get one.

"We would like to get one. We thought it might be that one, but I guess it will be the next one."

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday in New York.

The Rangers haven't lost to Philadelphia at Madison Square Garden since March 6, 2011, outscoring the Flyers 35-10 in that span.

The Flyers took the lead on their first shot, after allowing four, following a big hit by Scott Hartnell on defenseman Ryan McDonagh to free the puck in the offensive zone.

MacDonald, a trade deadline acquisition from the New York Islanders, wound up for a slap shot on the playoffs logo and sent the puck sailing past Lundqvist after it hit St. Louis in flight at 7:28.

As the shot flew past him, McDonagh -- who struggled with the puck several times in the opening period in his first game April 1 -- hit Claude Giroux in the side with his stick, sending the Flyers captain to the ice. Giroux was down on all fours before gingerly skating to the bench. He returned to action.

"I was not myself and just couldn't get a good grip on the puck, couldn't feel my skates," said McDonagh, who missed five games because of an injured shoulder. "The guys stayed positive with me, and I found a way to contribute."

The Rangers got even with 9:07 left on a strong, determined effort by Zuccarello. Benoit Pouliotskated in search of space and lost the puck off his stick in the left circle. Zuccarello swooped in, got the puck and fired a hard shot that Emery blocked away. While in stride, Zuccarello got the puck back and deftly slipped in a backhand for his second career NHL playoff goal.

Rick Nash had five of New York's 14 shots in the first, mostly from long range, and nearly matched Philadelphia's total of six in the frame.

Both teams generated chances in the second period but no goals. The Rangers again led in shots, but by a slight 9-8 margin.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400552597


Flyers sign Gostisbehere to entry-level deal

With a national championship ring, a most outstanding player award and little left to accomplish at the collegiate level, the lure of the NHL was too much for Shayne Gostisbehere to ignore.

Gostisbehere agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal with the Flyers on Tuesday afternoon - just three days after helping Union College to their first NCAA crown on Wells Fargo Center ice.

Terms of the deal were not yet disclosed, however it does not begin until the fall. Therefore, he is not an option to play in the NHL this season. At the NHL level, Gostisbehere will likely earn the maximum entry-level salary of $925,000 plus performance-based bonuses. 

“It’s not far-fetched,” Paul Holmgren said when asked if Gostisbehere could be in the NHL next season. “He’s an exciting young player, the way he plays the game. It’s going to be a big summer for him to continue to get stronger and prepare himself to get ready for the rigors of an 82-game schedule.”

Right now, an excited Gostisbehere is just focused on his professional debut this weekend - not looking ahead.

"I haven't played a professional game yet," Gostisbehere said. "Whatever they want me to do, I'm all ears."

Gostisbhere, 20, will forego his senior season when he reports to the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms on Thursday. He will play the final three games of the Phantoms' season this weekend on an amateur tryout contract.

The Phantoms, in Glens Falls, N.Y., are just up the road from Union’s campus in Schenectady, N.Y. Holmgren said the Flyers’ goal would have been to try and sign Gostisbehere regardless of whether Union won the national title or not.

“If they didn’t win, I’m not sure what he would have done,” Holmgren said.

Once the Phantoms wrap up their season, failing to make the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, Gostisbehere and other young players will practice and travel with the Flyers for the remainder of their playoff run.

“I don’t know if it pushed me (to sign),” Gostisbehere said in a conference call Tuesday. “What happened in Philly was a moment I’ll never forget. I just sat down with my folks and we decided what was best for my development. I’m just ready for the next step.”

As for this summer, when Gostisbehere is expected to add weight to his 180-pound frame, Holmgren threw caution at a notion that his star third-round pick needs to bulk up.

“You don’t want to load down your Ferrari,” Holmgren said.

Source - http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/flyers/Flyers-sign-Gostisbehere-to-entry-level-deal.html

Andrew MacDonald Signs

The Philadelphia Flyers apparently liked what they saw out of defenseman Andrew MacDonald after they acquired him from the New York Islanders. With unrestricted free agency looming, they cut him a 6-year, $30-million deal to remain on the Philly blue line.

From the Flyers:

MacDonald was acquired by the Flyers around this year's trade deadline on March 4 from the NY Islanders, and since joining the team, has four assists in 19 games and recorded over 20 minutes of ice-time in 14 of those games, including a Flyers-high of 28:49 at Pittsburgh on Apr. 12. The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman led all NHL players in blocked shots this season with 242 and was one of three players in the NHL with over 200 blocks.

 

So, he plays over 20 minutes and excels at doing something that will eventually lead to an injury that will have him playing zero minutes.

OK then.

It’s the hockey world’s default setting to be critical of any contract handed out by the Flyers, but that’s because they make it so easy. MacDonald just went from making $550,000 to making $5 million next season. Think about your salary; think about that exponential increase. Now pick your jaw off the floor.

Granted, this is NHL economics, so the prevailing wisdom is that SOMEONE would have given him the money, but that’s next exactly a sterling defense of a deal that has an average defenseman locked up for six years with a $5 million annual cap hit.

In 19 games with the Flyers, the numbers show they’ve been a better team with MacDonald off the ice. It was the same case last season when MacDonald was with the Islanders, too. Broad Street Hockey attempted to pinpoint the problem in the neutral zone, but being a turnstile at the blue line doesn't seem like a correctable aspect of his game.

The money is what it is. It’s the Flyers and the cap’s rising. But six years is a lot of years for Andrew MacDonald. And that's now two Islanders defensemen that the Flyers are building their defense around.

Source - https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/flyers-give-andrew-macdonald-6-year---30-million-deal-145530186.html

Flyers 5-6 Hurricanes (OT-SO)

Sunday's regular-season finale felt almost like a playoff game for Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.

It's the closest his team will get this year.

Eric Staal scored twice in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Sunday's regular-season finale.

Jeff Skinner added a pair of goals for the Hurricanes, who finish the season in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, outside of the playoff picture.

Wayne Simmonds scored twice for the Flyers, who had already wrapped up third place in the Metropolitan Division and a date with the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs later this week.

"Games like this are good for our team," Muller said. "Not that it's a playoff game or anything but this is a tough rink to play in, it was sold out and the guys were intense until the end. For our guys to find a way to win was what we like to see as coaches. It was a good finish for us."

Cal Heeter made 33 saves in his NHL debut for the Flyers, before stopping one of two shots in the shootout. Heeter was recalled from the Philadelphia Phantoms and given the start afterSteve Mason suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday's win over the Penguins.

Mason is day-to-day but the Flyers are hopeful he'll be able to return to net for Game 1 of their series with the Rangers.

"He battled back," Flyers head coach Craig Berube said of Heeter. "It's tough for a kid like that coming in here. He's nervous obviously and this is probably not the best situation (for his NHL debut). But it is what it is and the kid hung in there and did a good job."

Anton Khudobin made 39 saves and stopped all three of shots in the shootout for the Carolina.

Skinner scored his 33rd goal of the season on a power play with 4:21 left, giving the Hurricanes a 5-4 lead after the puck took a weird carom off the boards and left him shooting at an open net.

But Simmonds tied the game, scoring on a rebound with 9.5 seconds left for his career-high 29th of the season.

Fighting back in the final minute felt like a positive sign to the Flyers heading into the postseason.

"If we play as a team and keep doing what we've been doing the past few months, we'll be a really tough team to beat," Flyers defender Kimmo Timonen said.

Trailing 4-1, the Flyers went on a second-period offensive, scoring three goals to tie the game, including two within 10 seconds of each other -- on a power-play slap shot from the point from Timonen and a wrister from Simmonds.

With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Sean Couturier tied the game with a steal and pretty move on a breakaway, matching his career high with his 13th goal.

"I thought we skated and were competitive the whole game," Berube said. "We were just looking for good habits and getting our skating legs, and I thought that they did that."

Heeter's debut got off to an inauspicious start as he failed to stop the first shot he faced, with Skinner beating him with a wrist shot.

The Hurricanes scored twice more before the first period ended, with Staal beating Heeter on a low shot from the left circle and Manny Malhotra going five-hole on the rookie for his first goal since Jan. 25.

Staal scored his second just 17 seconds into the second period on an easy shot from the right circle.

"In my dreams, I'd say I didn't give up six goals," Heeter said. "But it's a fabulous experience. I've been working my whole life to get to here and to finally get the opportunity to play a game and to have the support of the management, players, coaches, fans, everybody here . it's a dream come true."

The Flyers scored their first goal midway through the first period when Matt Read blasted in a one-timer from Jason Akeson, who logged his first NHL assist. Akeson, who was called up from the Phantoms for Sunday's game, has two points in two career NHL games.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485465

Flyers 4-3 Penguins

The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins won't meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

If their paths cross down the line, the theater should be delicious. As usual.

Mark Streit's backhanded shot from the right circle caromed between Marc-Andre Fleury's pads 2:10 into overtime as the Flyers beat the Penguins 4-3 on Saturday to assure themselves of a first-round matchup with the Metropolitan Division-rival New York Rangers.

Streit's 10th goal of the season was the game winner.

"It was another big game, it's always a big rivalry," Streit said of the Penguins. "It got heated at the end, a lot of emotions. We wanted that third spot and we got it."

Jakub Voracek scored twice for the Flyers, and Claude Giroux added his team-high 28th goal of the season. Ray Emery made 12 saves after replacing injured starter Steve Mason to begin the third period.

Mason was held out as a precaution after getting bowled over late in the second period when Pittsburgh's Jayson Megna failed to put on the brakes while streaking to the net.

Flyers coach Craig Berube expects Mason to be fine, though the play turned an atypically sleepy meeting between the two clubs into something decidedly more lively.

There were three goals in the final 5 minutes of regulation, a brief dust-up at the end of regulation that led to a rare 3-on-3 to start overtime, and plenty of pushing and shoving.

At one point Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell hit Kris Letang from behind just days after Letang returned from a stroke that kept the 2013 Norris Trophy finalist out for more than two months.

While Letang called the incident "part of the game," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was a little more pointed.

"It's a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke," Bylsma said.

If that's the case, Berube is wondering why Letang is in the lineup at all.

"Then (Letang) shouldn't be out there playing, bottom line," Berube said. "It's a stupid comment."

Letang gained a measure of revenge when he scored with 36 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime, his first goal since Jan. 23. He nearly won it in overtime but Emery made a sharp stick save.

Seconds later, the Flyers were celebrating at the other end of the ice when Fleury misplayed Streit's innocent-looking backhander.

"It was a great pass by (Matt) Niskanen," Letang said of the near miss. "It could have ended it and probably should have."

Jussi Jokinen and James Neal also scored for Pittsburgh. Fleury stopped 17 shots and hardly looked sharp while giving up the winner. The Penguins will play either Detroit or Columbus in the opening round of the postseason.

Philadelphia's victory might be a blessing for the Penguins, who lost the season series to the Flyers 4-1 and were shoved out of the playoffs by Philadelphia two years ago. Still, Pittsburgh -- which locked up the Metropolitan Division title more than a week ago -- saw progress.

"I thought we were much better, and for a game that doesn't move us in the standings anywhere, I liked our mindset," said center Sidney Crosby, who earned an assist to boost his NHL-leading point total to 104.

The Penguins spent most of the first two periods tilting the ice but struggled to beat Mason. The NHL's top-ranked, power-play unit couldn't convert during a 5-on-3 advantage early in the second that lasted more than 90 seconds. A one-timer by Neal clanged off the right post, and Mason made a lunging glove save from his belly to deny Beau Bennett.

Thrust into action unexpectedly after Mason left the game, Emery was similarly sharp. His best save might have been his last when he denied Letang.

"I'm just happy that it turned out the right way," Emery said. "It was kind of ugly, but it turned out the right way."

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485456

Flyers 2-4 Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have put themselves in position for home-ice in their opening playoff round against Montreal.

Richard PanikEric Brewer and Steven Stamkos had third-period goals to help the Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Thursday night.

Tyler Johnson had the other goal for Tampa Bay, which moved within a point of Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. If the Lightning win their last two games, they will clinch the Atlantic's runner-up spot.

"To have the ability to win out and get home ice, that's what you want," Stamkos said. "You want to play meaningful games down the stretch. Obviously, we were proud to get into the playoffs, but it would be icing on the cake to get home ice. It's in our hands."

Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier scored for the playoff-bound Flyers, who are tied for third in the Metropolitan Division with Columbus.

"I thought we were up today," Philadelphia coach Craig Berube said. "I thought we competed real hard. The first five minutes, we turned the puck over a couple of times and they ended up getting a goal. But other than that, I liked the way we played tonight. We didn't finish, in my opinion, good enough."

Anders Lindback played in place of injured Tampa Bay starting goalie Ben Bishop, who may not be ready for the start of the playoff series next week against Montreal due to an upper-body injury. Bishop, 37-14-7 this season, left Tuesday night's game against Toronto early in the first period after it appeared he hurt his left elbow.

Lindback stopped 34 shots, including a glove save on Tye McGinn's in-close rebound with 8 minutes left in the first. He came off the bench Tuesday and made 25 saves in a 3-0 victory over the Maple Leafs.

"It's a great opportunity for him, and he's seizing the moment," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Panik won a race for the puck behind the net, moved out front and gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead on a back-hand rebound of his own shot 4:33 into the third. It stopped the right wing's 17-game goal drought.

Brewer extended the advantage to 3-1 when he beat Ray Emery from the left circle at 9:43 of the third.

After the Flyers pulled within one when Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat deflected Couturier's pass past Lindback at 12:22, Stamkos' power-play goal made it 4-2 with 5:46 remaining.

"I thought we played well for 40 again, and then we were hit or miss in the third," Simmonds said. "We had some really good shifts, and then we had some bonehead plays which cost us the game. We're not playing smart. We're not keeping it simple."

Stamkos setup Johnson's goal from the left circle 2 minutes into the game. Johnson set a team rookie record, breaking the mark set by Stamkos, with his 24th goal this season.

Simmonds tied it at 1 on an in-close turnaround goal during a power play with 1:21 to go in the second. The Flyers entered with the NHL's top-ranked road power play.

Emery turned aside two good scoring chances by both Stamkos and Ryan Callahan during a second-period Tampa Bay power play. He finished with 26 saves.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485441

Flyers 5-2 Panthers

The Philadelphia Flyers are ready for the playoffs.

Claude Giroux scored two goals and the Flyers clinched a Stanley Cup playoff berth by beating theFlorida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday.

Tye McGinnSean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers and Steve Masonmade 38 saves.

The Flyers won their second consecutive game after losing the four previous games and after a 1-7 start to the season, making the playoffs is a big relief.

"From the start we got, from the first (eight) games, we've got to be proud of what we've done," Lecavalier said. "Obviously we have to finish strong and make sure that we're ready and confident for that first round."

Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson scored goals for Florida and Dan Ellis stopped 22 shots. Ellis substituted for Roberto Luongo, a late scratch with an upper-body injury.

After the game, Panthers coach Peter Horachek said Luongo's injury was muscular soreness and not serious.

The Panthers didn't go easily. Trailing 4-0, they scored two goals early in the third period to close to 4-2 and make the Flyers nervous.

"We kind of took our foot off the gas," Giroux said. "We only have three games to kind of work on our game and be ready for the playoffs."

The Flyers scored four goals in the second period, including three on their first four shots.

The Flyers took a 1-0 lead when Lecavalier found a loose puck in the slot and wristed it between Ellis' pads at 2:02 for his 20th goal of the season. The Flyers have seven 20-goal scorers.

Philadelphia went ahead 2-0 when Giroux fired a shot from the top of the right circle that got cleanly by Ellis at 6:29.

The Flyers stretched their lead to 3-0 a few minutes later on Giroux's second goal. Mark Streitdropped a pass to Giroux in the slot and his wrist shot beat Ellis at 8:50.

"Just a couple of shots where I?was able to get open and shoot it on net," Giroux said. "Obviously those goals were huge for us to get the lead."

Philadelphia went ahead 4-0 with 4:57 left in the second when Couturier wristed in a rebound from the right side. It was his first goal in 18 games.

The Panthers have lost six of their past seven games and Ellis has lost all five starts with the Panthers since being acquired from Dallas on March 5.

"It was a good start (in the first) but in the second period I just let in four bad goals," Ellis said. "I take responsibility for that loss. ... I can't let two pucks go right through me."

Gudbranson scored 1:14 into the third when he fired a shot from just inside the blue line that got past Mason to make the score 4-1.

Huberdeau pulled the Panthers to 4-2 when he poked the puck between Mason's pads at 5:38 of the third. It was the first goal for Huberdeau since Jan. 20 at Pittsburgh, a span of 19 games.

"Obviously, we made it closer than it should have been," said Flyers coach Craig Berube, who was happy the team clinched a spot in the playoffs.

"They went through a lot and they battled hard all year. They're a good group of guys, good character, and they deserve a lot of credit for making the playoffs."

The Flyers made it 5-2 when McGinn took a pass from Lecavalier from behind the net and poked the puck past Ellis with 4:54 left in the third.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485428

Flyers 5-2 Sabres

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their defense and their drive to snap their losing streak. Playing the lowly Buffalo Sabres helped, too.

Brayden Schenn scored two goals, and the Flyers broke a four-game skid with a 5-2 win over Buffalo on Sunday night.

Philadelphia, 0-2-2 in its previous four games, maintained third place in the Metropolitan Division -- two points ahead of Columbus -- by winning for the second time in eight games (2-4-2).

With four games remaining, the Flyers trail the second-place New York Rangers by two points, but have a game in hand.

"Our intensity was up and guys were skating and working right away in the game," Philadelphia coach Craig Berube said. "It was important for the confidence level just to get guys' spirits back up."

The Flyers hadn't played poorly during the losing streak, which included two defeats to Boston and one to St. Louis. The Bruins and Blues lead their respective conferences.

Schenn, Vincent Lecavalier and Zac Rinaldo scored second-period goals to put Philadelphia ahead 4-0. Matt Read also scored and Mark Streit had three assists.

"I thought we played a solid team game, defense-first mentality," Schenn said. "Two points is key. We just have to worry about ourselves and worry about the two points each night."

Cody Hodgson and Mike Weber scored third-period goals for Buffalo, which lost its sixth straight road game and fell to 2-13-1 in its last 16 overall.

The Sabres, assured of finishing with the fewest points in the NHL, have scored eight goals during their road skid.

Buffalo, already missing 10 players due to injuries, might have lost another as Chad Ruhwedelsustained a concussion on a third-period hit by Rinaldo, who was given a match penalty for the blow to Ruhwedel's head.

"There's no big brother for them," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said of his inexperienced players. "They have to sink or swim, and certain games like this, it's going to catch up to us."

Rinaldo, who entered with a team-high 137 penalty minutes, racked up 16 on Sunday and could face an NHL suspension.

"I had a lot of speed going at him. I put my shoulder down, and as he shot the puck my shoulder hit him clearly," Rinaldo said. "Proof is in the pudding right there. I shouldn't have done it. There's no need for it. We're up 4-0, but it's part of the game.

"That always happens with me. I get on a good streak and then something bad always happens. I try not to think about it too much."

Read got Philadelphia on the board 6 1/2 minutes into the game by scoring on a rebound. After Buffalo's Cory Conacher turned the puck over, Streit fired a slap shot that caromed off the post to the slot, where a wide-open Read unleashed a wrister past rookie goalie Nathan Lieuwen.

"As soon as (Read) got that goal, it gave us a boost and we started scoring goals," Schenn said.

The Flyers turned the game into a rout with three second-period goals. Rinaldo, known more for pesky play than scoring, netted his second goal of the season when his wrist shot went off Lieuwen's glove and trickled over the line to make it 2-0 with 12:20 left.

Schenn deflected in Streit's slap shot on the power play with 5:40 remaining, snapping the Flyers' 0-for-12 skid on the man-advantage and stretching the lead to three goals.

Lecavalier then put a shot above Lieuwen's right shoulder just over 1 1/2 minutes later from the top of the right circle. Mason earned an assist on the goal for his first point of the season and seventh of his eight-year career.

Schenn scored his second goal with 4:50 left in the game when he fired a wrist shot past Lieuwen's glove.

Lieuwen, making his fifth career start, had 32 saves.

"When you have an experienced team in front of an inexperienced goaltender, there's positions where you cover up for the mistakes," Nolan said. "They don't have to get shots from all over. It's one of those situations where it is what it is, and they're getting a lot of work."

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485416

Flyers 2-5 Bruins

The Boston Bruins own the NHL's best home record.

Now they know they'll have home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:06 left in the third period, Milan Lucic had two goals and the Bruins clinched the conference's best record with a 5-2 win over thePhiladelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

With four games remaining on their schedule, the Bruins have 50 regulation and overtime wins -- the league's first tiebreaker. Second-place Pittsburgh has 44 and can't catch Boston if it wins the rest of its games.

"You work so hard for that all season, it's nice we could do it here," Lucic said.

It was Boston's league-leading 30th home victory.

The win also moved Boston two points ahead of St. Louis for the NHL's best record. The Blues lost to Colorado on Saturday.

"With the win today we clinched [the conference], and it's good for our team," Boston defensemanTorey Krug said. "We're excited about having home ice now."

Boston coach Claude Julien knows it's been a good season.

"You just have to look at our record," he said. "We're at 113 [points]. I think that shows you overall we've been a pretty good team. We've had struggles at times, but I don't think there's an area I'd consider a weakness on the team."

David Krejci also scored for the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games, setting up Boychuk's go-ahead score.

Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill scored for the Flyers, who are in a tight race with a group of teams for a playoff spot.

"Every game is a must-win," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "There are a lot of teams behind us trying to make the playoffs. We have played good enough to be in the position we are right now and we can't forget that. We have to remember that we are a good team and we are in this position because we did a lot of good things this year."

Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who had lost their past two games.

Ray Emery made 37 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia has lost three straight.

Emery hopes the Flyers can turn things around quickly.

"The playoffs come fast and if you're not playing well, normally you see yourselves out pretty quick," he said. "So we definitely want to be sharp going in."

Bergeron won a faceoff cleanly back to Boychuk, who fired a slap shot past Emery's glove for the go-ahead goal. Lucic scored less than a minute later and Chris Kelly added an empty-netter with 21 seconds to play.

The teams were tied 2-2 entering the third period after the Flyers came back twice.

Trailing 1-0, the Flyers snapped a lengthy scoreless stretch on Simmonds' power-play goal 14:36 into the second when he gained possession of a shot off the back boards and slipped a backhand behind Rask. Philadelphia was shut out in its past two games, and it halted the scoreless stretch at 165:01.

But Boston regained the lead 19 seconds later when Krejci circled the net and fed Lucic, who one-timed a shot past Emery from the slot.

Philadelphia then tied it at 2 when Rosehill collected Michael Raffl's pass alone at the bottom of the right circle, spun quickly and beat Rask inside the far post at 16:21.

Krejci's goal 15:56 into the first period gave Boston a 1-0 lead. He scored off the rebound of Loui Eriksson's shot, collecting the puck and shifting to his right before firing a wrist shot into the open side of the net.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485403

Flyers 0-2 Blue Jackets

Sergei Bobrovsky stuck it to his former team, then gave his stick a few extra shakes in celebration toward the jeering crowd.

Back on familiar ice, Bobrovsky made himself quite at home.

Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for his fourth shutout of the season, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first win in Philadelphia, 2-0 over the Flyers on Thursday night.

"It's something special," Bobrovsky said. "It's tough to explain."

James Wisniewski and Brandon Dubinsky each scored goals for the Blue Jackets, who were 0-5-1 in Philadelphia since the franchise's inception in 2000.

Led by Bobrovsky, a former Flyer, the Blue Jackets moved closer to clinching their second-ever playoff berth. They closed within two points of the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

"We're in a good position," Dubinsky said. "It's not like where we were last year when we had to continue to watch and hope and chase teams. We're right where we want to be."

The Flyers have lost three straight games and were shut out for the second straight time. They haven't scored a goal in 130 minutes, 25 seconds, dating back to a third-period goal March 30 against Boston.

Flyers coach Craig Berube said the offense simply didn't test Bobrovsky enough, especially in the third.

"We've got to do a better job of getting shots through, get rebounds," he said.

Wisniewski snapped a scoreless tie with his seventh goal of the season late in the second period. He finished off a Columbus attack that saw at least three shots on Steve Mason before he was able to slide in the puck with 6 seconds left on the power play.

Dubinsky appeared to kick in the puck early in the third to make it 2-0.

The Blue Jackets are about as automatic as it gets in the NHL with a lead after two periods -- they improved to 27-2-4 with a two-period lead.

"We're going to keep climbing," Bobrovsky said.

The interesting matchup was the one between the pipes: Mason versus Bobrovsky.

Mason had it all figured out in Columbus when he went 33-20-7 with 10 shutouts and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2008-09, the only season the Blue Jackets have made the playoffs.

But Mason and Columbus never could recapture that fleeting success. He fell to 20 wins and five shutouts the next season, and bottomed out in 2011-12 with a 16-26-3 mark. Mason lost his job to Bobrovsky, the former Flyer who blossomed into last season's Vezina Trophy winner.

Mason, who had 25 saves, was traded to the Flyers at the end of last season and became the No. 1 goalie after they bought out Ilya Bryzgalov's contract.

Bobrovsky was expendable because Bryzgalov signed a nine-year deal and was supposed to anchor the net as Philadelphia chased its first Stanley Cup championship since 1975. Bryzgalov's quirky personality and sometimes brutal honesty with the media didn't always endear him to teammates, and he lasted only two seasons.

Mason and Bobrovsky are now leading playoff pushes for both organizations. Bobrovsky made 17 saves in the second period, and the Blue Jackets' defense kept the punchless Flyers out of the zone for most of the third.

"We know it means a lot for him to be back here in Philly," Dubinsky said. "When you get traded from a team, it always feels good to go into the building and beat them. He was huge. He gave us an opportunity when we weren't at our best in the first."

The Flyers need to rediscover their offense over the final games if they want to make any kind of deep postseason run.

"I don't think you can start pressing the panic button or anything like that, but we definitely need to get harder, especially in front of their end," forward Scott Hartnell said.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485388

Flyers 0-1 Blues (OT)

The St. Louis Blues acquired Ryan Miller for moments such as these.

Miller stopped 31 shots and kept the net empty in a shootout, too.

He was precisely as advertised, a goalie that can be a difference-maker when there's no room for mistakes.

"Millsy standing on his head -- that's what we brought him here to do," forward T.J. Oshie said after the Blues outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Tuesday night and matched the franchise record with their 51st win.

"There were some saves where you feel like you're about to put your head down because it's going to go in the net, and he seems so calm and just sticks his pad out and saves it."

Miller is 10-3-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .920 save percentage since coming in a trade with Buffalo.

Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in the shootout for the Blues, who have 109 points -- one fewer than Boston for the top spot in the NHL.

They're 9-3 in the shootout largely because of Oshie, who's an uncanny 9 for 12 after converting a backhand, and also put on quite a show at the Sochi Olympics.

"Yeah, I knew he was good and I knew what to expect," Ray Emery said. "But he was real quick on that one."

Miller earned his 29th career shutout and first in 101 games since March 21, 2012, against Montreal when he was with Buffalo. He made a skate save against Vincent Lecavalier and a glove save on Claude Giroux -- who's 5 for 10 -- in the shootout.

Emery, the Flyers' backup making just his third start since the beginning of March, earned his 16th career shutout and second this season.

"He definitely won us a point tonight," Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said. "In two weeks when the season's over we'll see how big that point is."

Miller was motivated after giving up four goals in a loss to Dallas on Saturday night, plus the Flyers are a familiar foe from his seasons in Buffalo. He's 14-13-2 against the Flyers and this was his first shutout against them.

"It was a fun night," Miller said. "When the pucks are hitting you, it's a lot of fun."

It was the third 1-0 shootout victory in Blues history and first since Feb. 1, 2008, against Anaheim.

One of Miller's best saves came with 1:30 to go in overtime when he stretched out and deniedJakub Voracek's bid to slide the puck under his pads.

"At this point in my career, I'm just trying to be really calm about everything," Miller said. "No sense letting things get off the rails and panicking too much."

Both teams killed penalties in the final five minutes of regulation, with a high-sticking call to Giroux stretching into the first 36 seconds of overtime for Philadelphia. St. Louis penalty killers have allowed three goals on 36 chances the past 12 home games.

The Flyers played in St. Louis for the first time since the 2010-11 opener.

Miller foiled two breakaways in the opening minutes, one created when defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk collided. He made an outstanding left pad save on Michael Raffl to thwart a 2-on-1 break early in the second period.

Two Blues hit the goalpost in the second period, Jaden Schwartz in the opening minute and Pietrangelo in the final minute.

Source - http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400485379