Rangers continue dominance of rival Flyers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- New linemates led to a scoring outburst by the New York Rangers.
Rick Nash scored two goals, Derek Stepan had a career-best four points and the Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Stepan, Brad Richards and Chris Kreider also had goals for the Rangers, who have dominated the rivalry lately. New York is 11-1 against Philadelphia since March 2011.
"You need something to break where you get five as a team and now everyone feels a little bit looser," Richards said. "Next practice, we will notice a difference right away. Those five goals as a team lets a little sigh out, but we can't let the foot off of the pedal. It's nice that we did that and it's nice that we can do that."
New York's John Tortorella became the 30th coach to record 400 career wins. He earned this one by mixing up his lines and got production out of it.
"If coaches knew what's going to work every time, then every team would have perfect line combinations," Richards said. "That's not the way hockey is and it's a constant battle in the NHL, trying to find combinations and chemistry.
The loss was a severe blow to the Flyers' playoff chances. They fell seven points behind the Rangers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference with only 16 games remaining.
Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored Philadelphia's goals.
"You never give up. If you give up there's no point in playing this game," Simmonds said. "In my mind, I think we still have a chance and I think everyone in this locker believes that. We just have to start playing better.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist outplayed Ilya Bryzgalov and improved to 25-11-3 against the Flyers.
"For me, it seems like one team really wants to play and wants to win the game and the other team not so much," Bryzgalov said. "It was obvious since the puck was dropped. I think that was the main difference in the game."
The Rangers got one past Bryzgalov when Nash fired a laser in for his 300th career goal to make it 1-0 late in the first period.
Richards scored a power-play goal in the second to make it 2-0. He ripped a shot from outside the left circle that sailed over Bryzgalov's shoulder and just under the crossbar.
Stepan put a rebound into an open net for a 3-0 lead minutes later. Bryzgalov failed to control the puck and was down on his knees and out of position when Stepan backhanded it in.
"My job's pretty easy with those two guys, so I'm going to stick with them," Stepan said of playing alongside Nash and Carl Hagelin.
Simmonds got the Flyers within 3-1 on a fluky goal during a scramble in front on a power play late in the second. The puck bounced around the crease to Simmonds, who spun and took a whack at it. He missed, but the puck hit his skate and trickled in.
Earlier in the game, Simmonds needed several stitches above his upper lip after a teammate's shot hit him. He got smacked in the face with a stick in the third period and bloodied his nose.
Voracek scored a painful goal to cut it to 3-2 six minutes into the third. Claude Giroux wound up and fired a slap shot that hit Voracek's neck and slipped under Lundqvist arm and behind him.
But the Rangers regained their two-goal cushion when Nash scored on a wraparound just 1:14 later. Kreider put it of reach with his goal a few minutes afterward.
Bryzgalov started off with an excellent glove save on Hagelin on a breakaway a minute into the game. Lundqvist answered by robbing Scott Hartnell a couple minutes later.
"It's a disappointing night," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We needed to compete better than we did and we didn't."
NOTES: Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1,000th NHL game last week. ... Danny Briere was out of Philadelphia's lineup because of a concussion. ... Former Flyers assistant coach Wayne Fleming died after a two-year battle with brain cancer. He was 62. Fleming was an assistant under Ken Hitchcock from 2002-06. ... Richards' goal was his first in eight games. ... Nash had his first multipoint game in eight games. ... Bryzgalov has started 29 of 32 games. ... Lundqvist is one behind with 28 starts in 32 games.

What to Read Next