NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Philadelphia
(Saturday, April 15th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 4, NY Rangers 1
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist and Antero Niittymaki made 25 saves, as the Philadelphia Flyers kept their division title hopes alive with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers at the Wachovia Center.
Jeff Carter donated a pair of helpers and Peter Forsberg returned from his four-game absence due to a groin injury and tallied an assist for the Flyers, who moved within a point of the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic. Should they defeat New Jersey on Sunday and the New York Islanders in their regular-season finale on Tuesday, they would claim the division.
The Devils currently trail the Rangers by three points in the Atlantic race and have the Flyers and Islanders left on their schedule. The Rangers have just one game remaining, as they host Ottawa on Tuesday.
Marcel Hossa netted his team's lone goal with Dominic Moore picking up the primary assist for New York, which has dropped four in a row. Netminder Kevin Weekes allowed four goals on 29 shots in defeat.
Philadelphia dominated play in the first period, outshooting the Rangers 15-3 en route to a 2-0 advantage.
The Flyers gained their first power play of the contest a little over six minutes in, and promptly used it to jump out front. Frederick Meyer fought along the left wall to keep the puck in the New York zone, then kicked it down to an open Forsberg. Forsberg moved in on net and slipped the disc under a diving defenseman and out front, where Mike Knuble punched it in at the 8:09 mark.
Carter's stickwork set up the next Philly goal, which came with 1:51 remaining in the first. The center stormed down the left side of the attack zone, then switched from the forehand to the backhand so he could sneak a centering pass past his defender. Nicholas Dimitrakos took over from there, flicking a shot past Weekes glove side to push the edge to two goals.
Philadelphia added two more in the second period to assume a 4-0 lead. Umberger polished off a 2-on-1 opportunity 5:44 into the middle frame, popping Carter's feed into the wide open left side of the net to make it 3-0. About four minutes later, Petr Nedved got the disc between the circles on the back end of a give and go with Michal Handzus and wristed it past Weekes.
New York got on the board midway through the second, as Hossa collected a rebound and poked it in from the doorstep to pull his team within three.
Despite heavy pressure the rest of the way, however, Niittymaki stonewalled the Rangers for the duration of the game to ensure the crucial win.
The Flyers average a goal more per game when Forsberg is in the lineup...New York, which will be in the playoffs for the first time since 1997, has not won a division crown since its Stanley Cup season in the 1993-94 season...The season series ended in a 4-4 tie.
04/15 16:55:06 ET