NEW YORK, N.Y. - After a slow start, the Philadelphia Flyers are starting to get their season turned around.
"The guys did their job, battled for each other," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
"Everybody (is) figuring some things out, team-wise. I haven't seen any (cracks) in that armour over the last few weeks. Guys have battled hard for each other."
The shutout was Philadelphia's league-leading fourth this season. Reserve goaltender Michal Neuvirth has Philadelphia's other three shutouts.
"It's nice to have a shutout," Mason said. "But at the end of the day, you trade the shutout for more wins."
Sean Couturier also scored for the Flyers, who have won two straight. It was the Flyers' first win at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 20, 2011.
"That's the type of effort that you need to win hockey games," Mason said. "We haven't won here in a long time and had to have a strong game after playing (Friday)."
Following a strong start to the season, New York has dropped three in a row.
"Probably we've gotten some of those wins because of extraordinary goaltending," coach Alain Vigneault said after the Rangers fell to 16-6-2, despite Antti Raanta making 31 saves. "I thought we had (another) extraordinary goaltending performance, but the rest of our game was absent."
Simmonds' fourth goal of the season opened the scoring 12:24 into the second period.
After Jesper Fast missed on an attempted tip, Philadelphia counterattacked with Matt Read carrying the puck up the ice. Read sent a diagonal cross-ice pass to Simmonds, who skated by Kevin Klein before wristing a quick shot past Raanta.
The goal was Simmonds' first point since Nov. 14.
"I was calling for the pass with there being a little bit of a gap," Simmonds said. "There was maybe 10 inches between the two sticks and (Read) made a perfect pass. It was a great play."
Philadelphia's lead grew to 2-0 at 3:06 of the third period as Couturier jammed a rebound past Raanta. Couturier's goal was his second of the season. Simmonds added an empty netter in the final minute.
Despite one of its best periods of the season, New York entered the first intermission in scoreless draw. The Rangers outshot the Flyers 10-4 in the first, and played with significant energy.
Dylan McIlrath was a source of that energy for the Rangers.
New York surged when McIlrath hit Nick Schultz in the offensive zone, then had a fight with Luke Schenn. The hit caused Schultz to miss the remainder of the game with an upper body injury. The Flyers did not have an update on Schultz's condition following the game.
"He's a heart and soul guy," Rick Nash said of McIlrath, the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft. "It's tough to find these days guys like him."
For coming to the aid of his teammate, Schenn was assessed a minor for instigating, a major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
Still the Flyers rallied around Schenn's decision to drop the gloves.
"It was huge," Simmonds said. "In the beginning of the year we weren't really sticking up for each other. (Schultz) has an unfortunate incident and (Schenn) gets back there before I could even blink. That's where it all started. We have to have each other's back and (Schenn) really set it off for us."
Following McIlrath's hit and subsequent fight, the Rangers fired seven shots on goal, but New York couldn't break through against Mason. The goaltender's biggest save in the period was a lunging stop against Dominic Moore.
"That's when they had their biggest push," Mason said of the Rangers' opening period. "But you look at the game as a whole (and) I thought our energy level and compete was a huge factor in determining the outcome. You weather the storm in the first period and you keep pushing through.
"That set us up for the rest of the game."
New York was unable to generate much after the first period, as Mason only had to make 14 saves in the final 40 minutes. The Flyers finished the game outshooting New York 34-24.
"We all need to man up," Vigneault said. "I need to get this group to play better, and I'm very confident this group knows the right way to play. I'm very confident that we have the right leadership in that dressing room. I am confident that they know can execute and play a lot better than we are right now."
NOTES: New York played its first game without centre Derek Stepan, who suffered two broken ribs in the Rangers' 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday. New York coach Alain Vigneault reinserted Emerson Etem and Viktor Stalberg into the lineup, and had Kevin Hayes centre a second line of Etem and Chris Kreider. ... Vigneault said New York would "have a better idea" Sunday how long Stepan will be out. He was scheduled to see a doctor Saturday. ... Philadelphia scratched Sam Gagner, Vincent Lecavalier and Brandon Manning. Dan Boyle was New York's lone scratch.