NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at NY Rangers
(Monday, January 30th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 3, NY Rangers 2 (OT)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Joni Pitkanen scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift the Philadelphia Flyers over the New York Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Richards added his seventh tally of the season and Robert Esche made 28 saves for the Flyers, who snapped a two-game skid. Michal Handzus picked up his 29th assist of the year for Philadelphia, which has won five straight at Madison Square Garden and now leads the Rangers by four points for first place in the Atlantic Division.
"It's been tough," Pitkanen said. "I was out eight weeks. I think every game I am feeling better and better. I saw Mike get the puck in the neutral zone and I think a couple of guys tried to make a change. I saw Mike make the pass and I took a slap shot and it went in."
Jaromir Jagr and Martin Rucinsky scored a goal apiece and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 37 of 40 shots for the Rangers, who have lost two of their last three games.
Tied 2-2 in overtime, Pitkanen took a pass from Mike Knuble at the blue line, skated unfettered into the left circle and blasted a slap shot that beat Lundqvist top shelf stick side for the game winning goal 1:28 into the extra frame.
"They got some good bounces there on the first and second goals," Lundqvist said. "Things like this happen. It's tough when it's at the end of the game. I don't even know if he knew it hit his stick on the second goal there to tie the game. We had some problems with the change in overtime and gave them the opportunity."
The Rangers drew first blood with 1:59 left in the first period after Jagr took a snap shot from the right circle that beat Esche stick side for a 1-0 lead. Esche had trouble picking up the puck after Michael Nylander provided a screen for Jagr.
New York extended its lead 8:22 into the third frame after Rucinsky beat Esche stick side with a wrist shot from the left circle to make it 2-0.
Philadelphia pulled within one with 9:42 remaining in regulation after Pitkanen unleashed a wrist shot from the high slot that deflected off a Rangers' defender in front and skipped past Lundqvist to make it 2-1.
The Flyers netted the equalizer with 1:38 left in the game after Richards deflected a shot over the glove of Lundqvist to make it 2-2. Frederick Meyer threw a shot on goal from the high slot and Richards reached behind to catch the puck with the tip of his stick to force overtime.
The Rangers fell to 16-6-5 on home ice...Flyers center Peter Forsberg missed his second game since suffering a groin strain against Montreal last Wednesday...The Flyers announced that defenseman Derian Hatcher is the club's interim captain until Keith Primeau can return from a concussion. Primeau has been out of the lineup since late October...Philly improved to 16-5-4 on the road...Pitkanen's last goal was on Nov. 29 against the Islanders.
01/30 23:26:36 ET