NEW YORK – All the talk the past few days was how big the drop off would be with Steve Mason injured and Ray Emery forced into the starting role in a playoff series with the New York Rangers.

As it turned out, Emery was the best Flyer despite an ugly score. Three third-period goals helped the Rangers to a 4-1 win in Game 1. The killer was a double-minor to rookie Jason Akeson in the third period that New York took full advantage of.

The Rangers had an early power play and the Flyers held them to only one shot. Emery was sharp in making saves on the game’s first four shots, all from the Rangers. They got early pressure at even strength, also.

Finally, the Flyers had puck possession in the New York end. They kept playing a dump-and-chase game and Scott Hartnell played the latter role. He went into the corner, leveled Ryan McDonagh with a clean hit, retrieved the puck and passed it to Andrew MacDonald at the point.

MacDonald, who is fresh off a six-year, $30 million extension, fired the puck on net and it deflected off a Ranger and past Henrik Lundqvist. The goal at 7:28 was MacDonald’s first career playoff tally. His only prior experience was four games with the New York Islanders last season.

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