By Sarah Kwak
NEW YORK — This was supposed to be a special day for Flyers winger Jason Akeson — he was playing in his first NHL playoff game, and making just his third appearance in the league overall. It’s one he’ll remember for the rest of his life, though chances are, he’ll want to forget it as soon as Friday. Skating on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read, the youngster was earning his ice time. He was aggressive, and finishing his checks — but one, he finished poorly.
Game 1 of the first-round series between Philadelphia and the Rangers was knotted 1-1 midway through the third period at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night when the 23-year-old Akeson went in to hit New York winger Carl Hagelin on the boards in the neutral zone. Akeson took Hagelin off the puck, but his stick caught Hagelin up high. When a rookie dreams of changing the course of a game with his stick, this isn’t what he imagines. Akeson’s blade drew blood, and a double minor.