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Simmonds helps Philadelphia Flyers crush New York Rangers to force Game 7

The Philadelphia Flyers hosted the New York Rangers for Game 4 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on Friday, April 25, 2014. The Flyers won the game 2-1.
The Philadelphia Flyers hosted the New York Rangers for Game 4 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on Friday, April 25, 2014. The Flyers won the game 2-1.Jai Agnish

Wayne Simmonds’ 3 goals helped lead the Philadelphia Flyers past the New York Rangers last night to force a Game 7 back at Madison Square Garden in New York City tonight. The puck drops at 7 p.m. in what promises to be an intense showdown.

Braydon Coburn fed Erik Gustafsson for a breakaway goal as he was returning to the ice from the penalty box to put the Flyers up 3-0 in the second period. Claude Giroux scored an empty-netter to round out the scoring for the home team.

Steve Mason took a shutout deep into the third period until Carl Hagelin finally helped the Rangers get on the board with about 7 minutes left in the game. The Rangers could not mount a miracle late-game comeback but they do have home ice advantage when the puck drops tonight.

The Flyers and Rangers will be the first of three teams playing in a Game 7 tonight to cap off an exciting first round of the NHL playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche host the Minnesota Wild at 9:30 p.m. and then it’s the Los Angeles Kings visiting the San Jose Sharks for their final game of the series.

The winner of the Flyers/Rangers series will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in round 2. The Penguins, who beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games, will have home ice advantage.

Along with his empty-net goal last night, Giroux also had two assists. Brayden Schenn, Scott Hartnell, and Jakub Voracek also tallied assists for the Flyers. Mason made 34 shots on 36 saves for his second win of the season. The number one goalie missed time due to an injury earlier in the series.

It was Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello scoring for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves on 23 shots and was rested for the third period with the Flyers up 4-0.