If you like Game 7s Wednesday night is going to be your night. Thanks to the Flyers' 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday we will have three of them in the first round.
3 things to know
Game 7s for everybody
It's not the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs unless the New York Rangers are playing in a Game 7. For the fourth time in their past five postseason appearance the Rangers are headed to a winner-take-all game thanks to a 5-1 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. For New York, it was a tale of missed opportunities in the first period, as the Rangers controlled the first 10 or so minutes of the game territorially and forced numerous Flyers turnovers but were unable to capitalize and beat Flyers goalie Steve Mason. It was a particularly brutal night for Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi as he was guilty of a couple of turnovers that led to Flyers goals. Along with that, the Rangers special teams continued to fail them in the series as they went 0-5 on the power play (now 3-for-28 in the series) and managed gave up two power play goals on three penalties. Put it all together and you have a Game 7 on Wednesday, giving the NHL three on one night.
All Wayne Simmonds, all the time
Few players in the NHL are better at going to the front of the net and producing goals on the power play than Wayne Simmonds. This was on display on Tuesday night when Simmonds recorded his first career postseason hat trick, creating all sorts of problems in front of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Simmonds was pretty pumped about the whole thing as he finished the night with three goals on six shots in just 12:50 of ice-time. The only downside was the fan that couldn't quite beat the netting when trying to get his hat out on to the ice.
Steve Mason gets the job done
If you could pick any goalie in the NHL to start a must-win game, Steve Mason probably wouldn't be in the top 20. But goalies are weird and on any given night you never know what you're going to get, both good and bad. For the Flyers on Tuesday, Mason was spectacular and helped bail his team out early when they couldn't get out of their own zone and made a couple of big-time stops on breakaways, including the one featured here on Benoit Pouliot in the second period. The Flyers were up, 2-0, at that time and in the process of killing an Erik Gustafsson penalty. If that shot goes in the entire game changes. Instead, Mason made the save, kept a two-goal lead, and then Gustafsson came out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway to all but put the game away for Philadelphia.
Wednesday's Game 7 Schedule
Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers Series tied, 3-37 p.m. ET | NBCSN / CBC / Local Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, N.Y.