Mason, Simmonds help Flyers force a Game 7 against Rangers

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The Philadelphia Flyers have often been at their best with their backs against the wall this season. That certainly seemed to be the case on Tuesday, as they dominated the New York Rangers 5-2 to send this first-round series to a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

For a series that’s had its fair share of extra rest nights, it could be interesting to see how back-to-back games may affect the tenor of tomorrow’s contest.

If you believe in momentum, then the Flyers will clearly bring that advantage into Madison Square Garden.

Steve Mason put together a masterful performance on Tuesday. While he didn’t notch a shutout thanks to some harmless late Rangers goals, he put together a handful of highlight reel saves. Overall, he stopped 34 out of 36 shots.

Wayne Simmonds stood out in his own right, bouncing back from a slow playoff start offensively to collect an impressive hat trick. Here’s the tally that prompted the exposure of some scalps:

While Mason put together the sort of performance that inspired ovations from Flyers fans, Henrik Lundqvist found himself watching the third period from the bench, as Cam Talbot came in during the final frame. As tough as a night as it was for Lundqvist – though some blame the team in front of him in equal proportions – Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault likely also wanted to protect his go-to goalie for a quick turnaround.

Simply put, the Rangers seem to do things the hard way:

Game 7 is an interesting situation to judge on paper. On one hand, the Flyers come off a huge and impressive win with their playoff hopes on the line. On the other hand, these playoffs have shown that the mood of any given series can change multiple times, often in the same game.

Also, sad Rangers fans might find solace in this:

The two teams will kick off a fascinating slate of three Game 7 showdowns on Wednesday, so get ready for some wild action to close out one of the best first rounds in some time (which is saying something).