PHILADELPHIA -- With a big boost from Ilya Bryzgalov and their penalty-killing unit, the Philadelphia Flyers achieved a rare feat: A win over the New York Rangers.
Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored goals, Bryzgalov stopped 18 shots and the Flyers beat the Rangers 2-1 Thursday night to prevent the first 0-4 start in franchise history and snap an eight-game losing streak against their rivals.
"Nobody wanted to be in the position we were in," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We played a really strong game. Guys showed up, skated hard and took care of their end."
Bryzgalov made two crucial saves when the Rangers were on a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:55 in the third period. He stoned Derek Stepan and Rick Nash to preserve a one-goal lead.
"We beat a great team today," Bryzgalov said. "Most importantly, we played great hockey. That's the type of hockey, if we continue to play like that, we'll get a lot of wins."
The Flyers hadn't beaten the Rangers since Feb. 20, 2011. It was their second-longest losing streak to New York. They lost 13 straight to the Rangers from November 1971 to December 1973.
Taylor Pyatt scored a goal for the third consecutive game for New York, which fell to 1-3.
"I thought it was really disappointing not to at least get a point here," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "I thought parts of the game were really good. I thought we worked really hard. Just very disappointed."
The Flyers needed some good news after learning before the game that All-Star forward Scott Hartnell will be out for up to two months. Hartnell broke the first metatarsal in his left foot on a shot by teammate Kimmo Timonen on Tuesday night.
Hartnell led the Flyers with 37 goals last season. The team is expected to sign veteran forward Mike Knuble on Friday.
The Flyers took just their second lead of the season when Simmonds scored on a deflection with 8:07 left in second period. Nicklas Grossmann fired a shot from the left wing that traveled through several defenders, hit Simmonds in front of the crease and trickled past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
"I just tried to crash the net," Simmonds said. "We were getting a
lot of shots from our defensemen and I was lucky to get one in."
Four minutes later, Voracek's power-play goal made it 2-0. Claude Giroux ripped a shot that missed wide, but the puck bounced hard off the boards. Simmonds and Sean Couturier took whacks at it and Voracek stuffed it in for Philadelphia's second goal on a power play in 17 tries.
The Rangers got within 2-1 on a power-play opportunity less than two minutes into the third period. Marian Gaborik made a perfect crossing pass to the left side of the net, where Pyatt one-timed it into an open net.
After a double-minor for high-sticking on Tye McGinn and a hooking penalty on Grossmann put the Flyers two men down, their penalty-killing unit took over. Led by Couturier, Max Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko, they kept the Rangers off the board for four minutes and earned a loud ovation.
"We had to work, take care of details," Couturier said. "I take pride in my defense, try to play solid two-way game."
McGinn, in his first NHL fight, roughed up Kris Newbury in the second period. McGinn landed several punches to Newbury's head, though he didn't knock him down.
The heavyweight battle riled up the crowd, which hasn't had much reason to cheer a week into the season.
"I think we gave them a little too much time in our end zone, and it seemed like sometimes we blew it around," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "Like, we had the power play, and we need to stop those plays in the corner and find the net in that time. So, it's something that we need to work on."
NOTES: The Rangers are just 2 for 19 on the power play. ... Danny Briere missed his fourth game because of a wrist injury. He could return to the Flyers next week. ... Flyers center Brayden Schenn sat out a one-game suspension for a hit on New Jersey's Anton Volchenkov in Tuesday's game. ... Tom Sestito made his season debut for Philadelphia and got into a fight with Stu Bickel just a few minutes into the first period. ... Rangers forward Arron Asham missed his second consecutive game with a groin injury. ... New York swept Philadelphia 6-0 last year for the second time in the long rivalry. The previous time was in 1971-72. ... Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros left the game with an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated Friday.