In three previous games against the New York Rangers this season, the Flyers were 0-3 and were outscored by 10-2. In their final regular-season meeting, the Flyers reversed course with the help of an unusual occurrence - a shorthanded goal.
Former Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto scored the Flyers' second shorthanded goal of the season early in the third period of a 4-2 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
That left the Flyers six points behind the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
The Flyers also benefited from a reliable standby - goalie Steve Mason, who made several big third-period saves and was outstanding in making 34 stops.
It was his first start since Feb. 8, although he played in relief of Rob Zepp during a 3-2 loss Thursday in Toronto. Mason had been sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Feb. 10.
Sean Couturier set up the game-winning goal, feeding Del Zotto at the left circle. Wayne Simmonds added an empty-net goal in the final second.
Couturier "saw me there, and I didn't want to yell and attract attention to myself," Del Zotto said.
"And he made a great pass," Del Zotto said.
Couturier had two assists and was a dominating presence.
"When you score on the PK it is always a bonus," Couturier said.
The Flyers had come off consecutive road losses to sub-.500 teams Carolina and Toronto, but they looked like a different team against last year's Stanley Cup finalist, a team that is a major threat this season.
Just seven seconds into the game, the Rangers' Derek Stepan dumped the puck from center ice, and it bounced in past Mason. After a review, the goal was nullified because of a delayed offside.
The Flyers scored first when Matt Read stuffed a rebound of a Couturier shot into the short side with 10 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first period.
That was the first goal this season the Flyers scored against Talbot, who shut out the Flyers twice in a 10-day period in November.
Couturier "shot it, and there was a rebound, and the puck kind of popped up into the air," Read said. "I swung at it, and very luckily I hit it back in front of the net and swung at it again."
Just 24 seconds later, Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn turned the puck over to Carl Hagelin, who fed J.T Miller in the slot. Mason blocked the shot, but Miller scored on the rebound.
With 15:19 left in the second period Flyers defenseman Nick Grossmann blocked a shot by Rick Nash and momentarily stayed down on the ice. The Flyers said he suffered an upper-body injury, and he didn't return.
The Rangers took a 2-1 lead with 8:05 left in the second period when defenseman John Moore scored his first goal of the season on a slap shot that deflected off the skate of Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.
Coburn made amends by setting up the tying goal. After receiving a pass from Vinny Lecavalier, Coburn sent a wrist shot on goal from just inside the blue line. Michael Raffl redirected the shot for his 14th goal with 5:23 left in the second.
"We did a good job of cycling the puck," Raffl said. "Vinny got it to Coby, and I think he just fired it for a tip, and I happened to tip it in."