New York, NY (Sports Network) – Mike Richards’ second-period goal proved to be the game-winner, as the Philadelphia Flyers held on to beat the New York Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden.
The 23rd shorthanded goal of Richards’ career had given the Flyers a 3-0 lead at 4:25 of the middle frame. But the Blueshirts got goals from newcomer Wojtek Wolski and rookie Derek Stepan in a span of 2:24 in the third period.
Wolski, acquired from Phoenix on Monday, accepted a Mats Zuccarello pass in the neutral zone, drove down the left wing and fired a shot from below the circle that eluded Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher at 9:13.
Stepan lit the lamp off another feed by Zuccarello to pull New York within a goal at 11:37.
The Rangers called Martin Biron to the bench in favor of an extra skater late in regulation, but couldn’t net the equalizer.
“We had a lot of chances,” said New York head coach John Tortorella. “The second half of the game we had a lot of chances, especially in the third period. We just didn’t finish.”
Jeff Carter and Ville Leino scored in the first period for Philadelphia, which has won six of its last seven games.
“We’re happy with where we are at, but we know there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Boucher, who made 34 saves.
Biron stopped 24 shots for the Rangers, who have dropped three of four.
Matt Carle let go a slap-pass from the point that Carter redirected in the slot past Biron’s left pad at 6:14 of the first period. Leino, on one knee, converted Andrej Meszaros’ centering pass from behind the enemy cage at 14:54. Both tallies came seconds after a Rangers penalty had expired.
The Flyers improved to 12-1-1 against the Atlantic Division this season…Philadelphia notched its league-high 16th road victory…Carle had two assists.