Wayne Simmonds scored three goals and Steve Mason stopped 34 shots to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, forcing a decisive Game 7 of their Eastern Conference playoff series.
There's little time for rest, too. The Flyers and Rangers play again Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Simmonds scored in the first period and twice more in the second for his first career postseason hat trick. Mason survived a busy first period and stopping 31 straight shots until Carl Hagelin scored late in the third. Mats Zuccarello also scored for New York in the final minute.
By the third, Simmonds had already helped stake the Flyers to a 4-0 lead and the outcome was a mere formality.
Erik Gustafsson also scored and Claude Giroux had an empty-netter for the Flyers, who will try for a second win in New York this series.
Simmonds, a 28-goal scorer who had one in the first five games, completed the hat trick with 4:41 left in the second. With a short turnaround, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was yanked for Cam Talbot to open the third period.
Lundqvist stopped 19 of 23 shots. He couldn't stop Simmonds.
Panthers: The Panthers fired interim coach Peter Horachek after Florida went 26-36-4 under him this past season. Horachek had no previous NHL coaching experience before replacing Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8.
Messier Award finalists: Los Angeles' Dustin Brown, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Chicago's Jonathan Toews are finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The NHL announced the finalists who exemplify "great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season." Messier will determine who gets the award. The winner will be announced June 24 in Las Vegas during the NHL Awards show.