Flyers lose to the Rangers in New York

The Flyers' Jaromir Jagr did not receive a warm welcome in his return to New York, where he used to play for the Rangers.
The Flyers' Jaromir Jagr did not receive a warm welcome in his return to New York, where he used to play for the Rangers. (HENNY RAY ABRAMS / Associated Press)
Posted: December 24, 2011

NEW YORK - The producers of HBO's 24/7 will have plenty of material for the next episode of the reality series featuring the Flyers and New York Rangers.

In a game that had great pace and the usual amount of bad blood, it was two second-period, tip-in goals by the Rangers that led to Friday's 4-2 win over the Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

"I guess they want it more than we did," said Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. "That is why they win."

It isn't that simple.

After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored on two tip-in goals in the second to assume command.

"We generated shots and attempts at the net, and they come back and there are a couple of tough bounces on those first two goals," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "They are probably three and five feet wide of the net, and they end up going in, so it was a couple of tough ones."

In the second period, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh hit the crossbar, the second crossbar strike of the game for New York.

Earlier, Bryzgalov stopped the red-hot Marian Gaborik on a good scoring chance in front of the goal.

On an ensuing Flyers power play, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped right wing Jaromir Jagr on a breakaway. A former Ranger, Jagr was making his first appearance in the Garden since May 1, 2008, after he missed the team's first meeting with an injury. This time, the Flyers played without Danny Briere, who is day to day with a bruised hand.

"They are a very good team, no question about it," Jagr said of the Rangers.

And the Rangers know it.

"We feel good about ourselves, our game, and where we are right now," Lundqvist said.

The Rangers broke the scoreless tie when Derek Stepan redirected a Stu Bickel wrist shot from the point with 9 minutes, 42 seconds left in the second period. Bickel's shot was going wide, and Stepan tipped it into the short side. The play was reviewed to make sure that Stepan didn't tip it in with a high stick.

The Rangers made it 2-0 when Ruslan Fedotenko tipped in a shot by Bickel with 4:31 remaining in the second period.

It was his first point in the last 10 games for the former Flyer.

The puck went in and out of the net so quickly that the officials reviewed the play to make sure it was a goal. It was the right call. This was Bickel's third NHL game and already his fourth assist.

The Rangers took a 3-0 lead when Gaborik scored on a breakaway on a long pass from Anton Stralman with 18:12 left in the third. It was his 21st goal and sixth in the last four games.

At that point, the Flyers showed some fight while ending a Madison Square Garden drought. The Flyers had been outscored by 9-0 in their previous two games at the Garden, including a 2-0 loss on Nov. 26 in the only other game this season between the teams.

Andrej Meszaros scored on a power-play slap shot after taking a pass from Matt Carle with 9:39 left in the third period, cutting the Rangers' lead to 3-1.

"We played better than the last time here, but it obviously wasn't the result we wanted," Meszaros said.

Before the Flyers could mount a full comeback, New York's Ryan Callahan increased the lead to 4-1 with a power-play goal, scoring on a rebound with 5:56 left.

The Flyers kept battling and drew within two with 2:10 left when James van Riemsdyk scored in a scramble in front of the net.

The next time these two teams meet will be Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park in the Winter Classic. No doubt the Flyers are happy the Classic won't be staged at the Garden.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com,

or @sjnard on Twitter.

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