Rangers Fly Past Flyers 4-1
Coming off a 4-2 loss in Philadelphia the day before, the Rangers were able to return the favor on their own home ice, beating the Flyers 4-2 Sunday afternoon. In the packed Eastern Conference, where the difference between the 5th and 10th place teams is just four points, every game, every win and every point is crucial.
On Sunday, it was once again the Rangers new imports that led the charge. Sean Avery tallied two goals, giving him four goals in his past three games. He also drew the attention and ire of the Flyers throughout the day. And though he got called for a penalty himself – goalie interference, and it appeared he was pushed into Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki – he also drew several penalties for the club.
The game was certainly not short on those. There was a total of 17 penalties called, which left much of the game's time played on the power play for one club or another. Four of the five goals scored in the game came on the power play. The Rangers broke a 0 for 14 streak on their power play, by scoring three goals on the power play before the day was over.
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Eighteen minutes into the first period, Avery redirected a Derek Morris shot on the power play to break the scoreless tie. Just several minutes into the second period, the Flyers capitalized on their own power play, with Simon Gagne getting a goal on a Mike Richards assist.
Richards made his mark on the game back in the first period as well. After knocking Brandon Dubinsky down with a hard shoulder check during Saturday's game, he crushed Nikolai Zherdev in the corner. Defenseman Dan Girardi responded by immediately dropping his gloves and engaging Richards. Both received 5 minute majors for fighting, with Girardi accumulating another 12 minutes of penalty time for instigating and for a game misconduct.
With the score tied at 1 in the second period, Nik Antropov scored on the Rangers power play. Chris Drury won the face off and got the puck to Antropov who skated straight in and got a shot past Niittymaki. Niitymaki had a busy day in net, facing a total of 39 shots.
At the start of the third period, the Rangers found themselves on the power play again. And again it was Sean Avery who scored, this time on a feed from Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund. Midway through the final period, it appeared that Fredrik Sjorstrom was going to be called for a penalty behind the Flyers net. However he wasn't, and he managed to work his way out with the puck. He then scored on a wrap around despite the protests of a very angry Flyers team and bench.
The home and home series between the clubs finished with each team winning on their home ice and being outworked on the road. The two will meet again in a home and home for the last two games of the season. They are sure to be of the utmost importance for the playoff race.
By: Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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