Talbot stops 31 in Rangers’ 2-0 win

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Talbot stops 31 in Rangers’ 2-0 win

Cam Talbot made 31 saves for his first win of the season and fourth career NHL shutout, and the New York Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

New York beat the Flyers for the ninth straight time at Madison Square Garden in the regular season. Talbot (1-2-1) got the win while subbing for Henrik Lundqvist, who served as his backup.

It was Talbot’s first victory since another shutout at Edmonton on March 30 - a span of six games for Talbot. Kevin Klein scored in the first period, and Rick Nash had a goal in the second.

Steve Mason stopped 32 shots for Philadelphia, which lost its third straight.

Two nights after a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay that Coach Alain Vigneault called a “disaster,” the Rangers showed lots of jump early. They took the lead at 5:10 on Klein’s fourth goal. Less than a minute after New York was stopped on an odd-man rush, Carl Hagelin made a crisp pass from low in the zone to Klein, who scored from the edge of the right circle.

Mason turned aside in-close chances by Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider, and stood tall when Nash crashed into him during a short-handed breakaway in the final 12 seconds of the period.

Philadelphia, outshot 13-9 in the frame, began to generate more offense once it received its first power play. Wayne Simmonds had the best chance, but his hard drive was kicked out by Talbot’s pad with 3:56 remaining.

The Flyers couldn’t capitalize during the final 54 seconds of a power play that carried over into the second period.

New York, however, converted on its power-play chance to make it 2-0 on Nash’s team-leading 13th goal at 7:43 of the second. Derek Stepan sent a hard pass from the left side down to St. Louis in the right circle. St. Louis quickly found Nash charging in on the left wing for an easy redirection behind Mason.

Simmonds had another prime opportunity to wreck Talbot’s shutout bid with the aid of an odd bounce off the back boards. Talbot went behind the net to play the puck, but it never came to him - instead caroming out in front. Simmonds swooped in, but Talbot got back to the crease in time to prevent a shot into an open net with 6:27 left in the second.

Vincent Lecavalier got free in the New York end and came in alone on Talbot with 3:24 remaining in the middle period only to have his drive nestle into Talbot’s midsection.

Mason continued to be sharp and even shook off a collision with teammate Brayden Schenn with 17.1 seconds to go in the second. AP

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