NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — There goes home-ice advantage.
Now the New York Rangers will need to steal a game from the Flyers as their best-of-seven playoff series heads to Philadelphia tied at one game apiece.
“We know we have to be better,” Rangers winger Martin St. Louis said after Sunday’s 4-2 loss at Madison Square Garden, according to the New York Daily News. “We knew they were going to be better after Game 1, and they were. For us, we’ve got to keep raising our level here. We expected a long series to begin with.”
Backup goalie Ray 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 to even the series.
The Flyers had lost nine straight at MSG, 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.
“They scored two and we didn’t,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “At the end of the day, that was the game.”
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 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.
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.”
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