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Flyers win, lock up first-round match against Rangers

Apr 12, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

By beating their hated rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers ensured that they’d face another heated rival in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.

Their 4-3 overtime win against Pittsburgh clinched an opening series against the New York Rangers. The Rangers will have home-ice advantage in this series as the Metropolitan Division’s second seed. Some might view that as an especially noteworthy edge for the Rangers, as they’ve beaten the Flyers eight consecutive times at Madison Square Garden.

Chances are, the Flyers are far more concerned about starting goalie Steve Mason‘s health than that statistical disparity. The 25-year-old suffered an upper-body injury and didn’t return after this collision in the second period on Saturday:

The physical ending of this game can be chalked up to a combination of that collision and the teams’ noted distaste for each other (although it probably comes down to the latter … probably). If the Penguins and Flyers manage to advance to the second round, hockey fans will get yet another wrinkle to consider in the event that the two cross-state rivals would face off.

Speaking of the Penguins, they await their next opponents based on this weekend’s results. The Columbus Blue Jackets would clinch a first-round series between the two if they can beat the Florida Panthers tonight.

  1. sjsharks66 - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    The only problem with the game was Hartnell going after a player who just returned from a stroke. Sorry, that’s just unacceptable. People claim Hartnell is so tough and a great guy. He showed neither of those traits with what he did.

    I remember when Simmonds came back with the jaw guard for a few games. He always started confrontations and when someone threw a punch or came back at him, it was the worst thing ever seen. I say going after someone with some stitches is nothing compared to going after someone who had a stroke.

    • killerpgh - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      IMO, if your cleared to play. You’re clear to play.

      • sjsharks66 - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        Of course, I agree. It just shows a lack of respect and low class to go after someone returning from a serious medical issue. It’s the same when players go after someone who just came back from a concussion. I’m okay with those players getting hit. But when you start putting sticks and punches to their head, there is a problem.

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        It really didn’t matter who Letang was. You can put any player in there and it was still a dirty play by Hartnell. He just ran him for no reason on open ice. It was dirty regardless of whether it was Letang, who came back from a stroke, or Sutter, who’s played every game. Plowing any guy stick first into his head is just a dirty cheap shot. Plain and simple.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        hartnell ran letang for no reason? idk if you noticed but Letang had the puck and just dangled into a prime scoring area where he was about to shoot, the hit was to prevent the shot and chance which is exactly what it did

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        flyerspsu, he went stick first into his head? You Flyers fans don’t get to ruin the #AskNeal hashtag on twitter and then turn around 3 weeks later and say a hit like that is okay because it’s in your favor this time. Hartnell obviously did it because of Megna’s hit on Mason. Hartnell could have at least had the decency to do it to somebody who “deserves it” a little bit. Give it to Neal/ Megna/Glass/Bortuzzo or someone else who plays on the edge. I’ve said the same exact thing about when a Penguin has ran a player, too. Hits like that don’t belong in the game. That goes for Megna and Hartnell.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        it wasnt stick to the head and how is the hilarious #AskNeal debacle relevant? come back to me when the Flyers have a player that consistently tries to drill unsuspecting players in the head like Neal, just today he tried to whack Read in the back of the head with his stick

      • laxman1944 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Dam right

        It is hockey correct?

        Pass the potatoes

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        I guess I’m gonna have to watch it again since I only saw it once. What I recall was Hartnell running Letang and not even trying to make a play on the puck.

        But to answer your question, the Flyers didn’t have their head hunter out there today because he was suspended 4 games for…….an illegal hit to the head. Rinaldo is no angel.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        Rinaldo is no angel but he has no history of targeting the head, that was his 1st legit headshot and it was him just being an idiot throwing a reckless hit on a vulnerable player which he took full responsibility for and said it was dumb, unnecessary and apologized which Neal has yet to do once

        Neal on the other hand has several premeditated intentional headshots, just like today when he tried to hit read in the back of the head with his stick, not quite the same

    • stakex - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      What the hell are you talking about? No NHL player in history has ever taken it easy on a member of an opposing team because that player just returned from injury. If your injury is still a problem, you shouldn’t be on the ice…. if you’re on the ice, you’re just another player.

    • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      what does getting in a scrum with Letang have to do with his past stroke? hes cleared to play

      hartnell hit him with a clean hit, Letang gave him a slash, Hartnell slashed back and gave him a couple glove shots, both got rough penalties and that was it

    • bigdong28 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      That’s hockey man…find another sport sjsharks66…something maybe with kisses & hugs & everyone loves each other.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Take your head out of your Penguin fan a**. Letang is a big boy, if he wasn’t fully recovered he wouldn’t be out there. Plain and simple. Hartnell’s not just gonna stop playing his game bc he’s worried about re-aggravating someone else’s injury. That’s dumb.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Um, so let me get this straight, because Letang had a stroke that means he’s off limits now? I’m glad Letang is back to playing but that doesn’t make him untouchable, especially given his history of diving and other assorted bush league tactics.

  2. killerpgh - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Would have been a great 1st round. Now the Flyers just have to get by the Rangers and the Penguins have to get by Red Wings or BJ’s to make it happen in the 2nd round.

    F Philly.

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      Are you sure your a Penguins fan? Flyers have 8 of the last 11. If you want entertainment and that’s it then sure, but if you actually want to make progress in the playoffs I suggest the Pens avoid them like the plague. Just hearing the words “Flyers Pens matchup” so close to the playoffs makes me a little sick to my stomach…

  3. gallaghedj311 - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    weak goal to finish. Hope Mason is okay

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I swear it’s always a flukey goal that gives the Flyers the victory against us. Whether it’s Fleury, Voky, or anyone else in net, it always happens. Gets old but oh well.

  5. flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Classic Flyers – Pens game

    exciting, physical and it wouldnt be a Flyers – Pens game w/o Neal trying to hit someone in the head, Crosby whining uncontrollably and Fleury knocking in 2 goals himself

    glad the Flyers won but I would have much rather gotten the Pens in the 1st round

    • Hockeyfan - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      Spewing the same old flyers crap. Where you there on the bench with a front row seat to hear/see everything?
      Rangers in 5. Then maybe the flyers can all go and get haircuts together since right now they look like bozo the clown with a helmet.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:07 AM

        Long hair and hockey are synonymous… just like the playoffs and beards. But anyway I’m sure you’re PRAYING like crazy the Flyers get knocked out. All it would take is one iffy goal let in by Le Flower and the collapse would commence, AGAIN.

  6. billiam55 - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    as a NYR fan, i was hoping we would have gotten the CBJ. 😦 But flyers are just as good I guess. gonna be interesting and def a 7 game series. was hoping flyers would get the pens bc those game are fun to watch. flyers seem to be the only team that could eliminate them in the metro division.

  7. President Charles Logan - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    rangers have the advantage in goal by a large margin which will be the difference in the series.. the flyers have the advantage with the size and physical play up front with their forwards …
    rangers in 6

  8. everyonesuksbutme - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Hey shiittyshark66…..any player on the ice is at play, if there are any concerns he should be in the press box. It wasn’t even that bad of a play…..I guess your just a sharks fan who’s never experienced winning.

  9. slammed81 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Cause he had a stroke u cant touch him please just a stupid comment.. Berube said it best if that’s the case then he shouldn’t be out there.. Guy is cleared to play what’s next are u goin to charge Hartnell with attempted murder???? My god

  10. bigdong28 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Great game pens. You guys outplayed for stretches IMO. Your team definitely looks let it will be a tough out in the playoffs. There were some iffy cheap shots from either team…but that’s flyers pens. Good luck in the playoffs.

  11. broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Good to see Beach Ball Fluery back to his same old playoff form. Have another nice playoff implosion boys.

    • cheesesteak75 - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:48 AM


      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        2 goals

  12. sjsharks66 - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Okay Flyers fans. Team up and pretend that if it was G, Hartnell or any other of your players in that position, you would say the same thing. I couldn’t imagine. Neal hits a flyer who came back from a stroke. I can read the headlines. “Neal literally tries to stop oxygen to (flyers name) brain so he can have another stroke!”

    • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      If Neal hit him legally when that player was about shoot from a great scoring area and it was actually a great hockey play like hartnells, no we wouldn’t have any problem

      But if Neal did his usually thing of intentionally jumping into their head from the blindside, then yeah we would be pissed

      • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Nah – sharks got a point. You all do sound sort of hypocritcal. If this wasn’t a shot in the back – what is?

        Anyway both players had a right to be in the scrum, Letang’s sure as hell not going to be afraid of a bum like hartnell (unless he resorts to biting, again, or he might be afraid he’ll cry about his locks being pulled). Roughing minors, both of them. Nothing wrong with that. But I’m surprised more people haven’t talked about the shot in the back…this is where I agree with sharks – if neal hit giroux in the back like that, clean or not, you nancies would be outraged. you know…’cause you’re ‘tough’ hahahahaha

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      As The Chief said to Disco Dan’s comment about going after a player who had just had a stroke….Either he’s cleared to play or not, That was a stupid comment to make.

      I guess you missed the part where Letang sent the game to overtime from the exact same spot where Hartnell leveled him at earlier in the game.

    • joey4id - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      You made of fool of yourself with the first comment…. give it up!

  13. fortarnold - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Sjsharks66, why does your moniker reflect your true allegiance, penstroll. You are pathetic. Letang was cleared to play. Do you think a doctor or the team will risk his health if he is at risk for another stroke? Hartnell went after him, so what? Letang is no angel. They are hockey players playing a man’s game. Were you up in arms when Letang pulled Timonen into a fight a few years back? Timonen’s is nothing close to a fighter. Maybe Hartnell was avenging a teammate and his best friend.

    • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      I’m fairly confident he’s a pens fan

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        He’s totally a Hen’s troll/fan.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:11 AM

        He comments on far more Flyers and Pens articles than Sharks articles. It’s not even close. And there’s zero objectivity in any of his comments regarding the Flyers; always negative.

  14. sndflyers - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    Pens fans can talk all they want about Hartnell and Letang, they can deny James Neal is dirty, but all that matters is the Flyers constantly beat them in console energy center and they always seem to have the edge in the Battle of Pennsylvania.

  15. eagles512 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Clean hit. Anyone saying otherwise is dead wrong.

  16. joey4id - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Fleury again fails to make the simple save… What is wrong with this guy?

    Coburn -2, Schenn -1, Why am I not surprised? Flyers are 2 d and 1 forward away from being a championship caliber team.

    I can’t see Pitt making it out of the EC without solid goal tending.

    • bigdong28 - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Fleury is solid against literally every other team

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