NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at NY Rangers
(Wednesday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Philadelphia 6, NY Rangers 3
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Mike Knuble scored a pair of goals as the Flyers moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with the Rangers after recording a 6-3 win over New York at Madison Square Garden.
Simon Gagne added a goal and an assist while Jeff Carter also lit the lamp for the Flyers, who have won four of their last five games. Robert Esche made 20 saves in the win.
"We had some bounces going our way tonight," said Knuble, who scored both of his goals on the man advantage. "Of late, things have been clicking more on the power play."
The victory by Philadelphia gave both the Flyers and the Rangers 88 points on the season. However, the Flyers have played one more game then the Rangers overall.
Jaromir Jagr tallied his third hat trick of the season, but it wasn't enough as New York had its three-game winning streak halted. Those three victories had followed a six-game losing streak that allowed the Flyers to keep pace in the division.
"You never feel good about it, nothing to celebrate," said Jagr on registering a hat trick in a loss. "For whatever reason, we didn't play good defense."
Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 35 shots faced in the loss, the Rangers third on home ice this season against the Flyers. New York has won all three games against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
The turning point of the game came late in the first period with the Rangers ahead 2-1.
With 3:17 left in the opening frame, New York's Ryan Hollweg was assessed a five-minute checking from behind major in addition to a 10-minute game misconduct for hitting Philadelphia's R.J. Umberger into the boards head first.
"I guess I'm lucky my head was up. It definitely changed the game. In a game like that, tough race in the division, that's a tough play on their part," said Umberger, who did return to the game after the injury. "It's gonna take a lot more to keep me out of a game. I don't like to miss any time."
The penalty turned out to be huge as the Flyers netted two goals on the ensuing five-minute power play to take a lead.
Knuble's second goal of the game, and 30th of the year, with 2:30 remaining tied the contest at 2-2 as he tipped Gagne's shot from the right circle past Lundqvist.
Philadelphia then took a 3-2 edge into the first intermission with a back- breaking tally. Michal Handzus netted the score after he pumped home a rebound from the crease with just .8 seconds left until the break for his ninth goal of the year.
The two teams traded goals in the second to keep it a one-goal game.
After a steal in the offensive zone, Gagne skated in all alone before beating Lundqvist glove side 5:48 in.
However, Jagr completed his hat trick to make it a 4-3 Ranger deficit with 3:15 left. His 49th goal of the season came on the power-play as he ripped a shot from the left circle past Esche's glove.
It was all Philadelphia on the scoreboard in the final period however as Carter ripped a shot from the left circle that went through an Umberger screen and past Lundqvist at the 12:50 mark.
Sami Kapanen then iced the game with an empty-net tally with 14 seconds remaining.
"We played a good game but they got easy goals," said Lundqvist. "There was a lot of shots I couldn't see. They did a good job. They always had a man in front of me."
Jagr's 47th goal of the season staked the Rangers to an early 1-0 lead at 11:21 of the first after the star Czech beat Esche blocker side from the right circle.
The Flyers responded with a power-play goal with 4:30 left in the first as Knuble deflected Joni Pitkanen's point shot from in front.
The Rangers, though, came right back less than a minute later on Jagr's second goal of the game. The forward made it a 2-1 contest after he skated the puck into the high slot before wristing a shot over Esche's glove.
The two teams will meet two more times this season, once each at home.
Pitkanen had two assists in the game...New York's Martin Rucinsky had three assists in the loss...This was the most goals the Rangers have allowed on home ice this season...Knuble tallied his fifth two-goal game of the season...Eric Desjardins played in his 726th game as a Flyer, moving him into eighth on the club's all-time list...Philadelphia has more wins on the road (20) on the season then at home (19)...Jagr has nine goals against the Flyers this season.
03/22 23:37:54 ET