NEW YORK - The turning point of the Flyers' 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon may have been Luke Schenn's going after Dylan McIlrath after the Rangers' defenseman had leveled Nick Schultz.
"It was huge," said winger Wayne Simmonds, who had a pair of goals, including a game-icing empty-netter. "We've been working on that a lot. I think in the beginning of the year, we weren't really sticking up for each other."
In the last week, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Claude Giroux got into fights after a teammate absorbed what they deemed an unnecessary hit.
Schultz may have suffered a concussion on Saturday's hit midway through the first period. The game was scoreless at the time, and Schultz did not return to action. He will be reevaluated Sunday.
"Schultzy gets hit there in an unfortunate incident, and Lukey's there and didn't even blink," Simmonds said. "He's already flying over there. I think that's where it all started. We knew we were going to have each other's back. Luke really set it off for us. He did a great job."
Schenn lost the fight with McIlrath, but he seemed to bring the Flyers together. He received 17 minutes in penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct, and when he returned to the ice in the second period, the Flyers tapped their sticks against the sideboards as a show of appreciation.
"I did what any teammate would do in that situation," said Schenn, who blocked four shots in the game.
Michael Del Zotto played 29 minutes, 20 seconds, the second-highest total of his career - and the highest for a game that ended in regulation. . . . The Flyers have killed 19 straight penalties. . . . The Flyers had 18 second-period shots, the most they have had in a period at Madison Square Garden since 2009.
- Sam Carchidi