Rangers continue dominance of Flyers at Garden

Posted: March 06, 2013

NEW YORK - The city that never sleeps continues to give the Flyers nightmares.

Two bad Flyers line changes led to third-period goals Tuesday night that enabled the New York Rangers to hand them a 4-2 defeat, their sixth consecutive loss at Madison Square Garden since 2011.

Overall, they have won just one of their last 11 games against New York, which moved one point ahead of the Flyers and into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan each scored a pair of goals as the Rangers kept the Flyers from climbing above .500 for the first time this season. They also stopped them from registering their first three-game winning streak.

Nash scored twice in the third period as the Rangers pulled away from a 2-2 tie.

"At the end of the day, we have to find a way to win that game in the third," captain Claude Giroux said. "It's frustrating."

Nash fired a right-circle shot under goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's right arm 2 minutes, 50 seconds into the third period, giving New York a 3-2 lead. Nash was sent away by a pass off the boards from defenseman Dan Girardi.

With 8:18 remaining and the Flyers caught in a defensive change, Nash secured the comeback win by scoring on a breakaway after a great set-up by Derek Stepan. That gave Nash seven goals this year - all in the third period.

"Their third and fourth goals came off bad line changes, and that can't happen," winger Wayne Simmonds said.

"They didn't have many chances," coach Peter Laviolette said, mindful that the Rangers had just 20 shots, "but we shot ourselves in the foot."

Callahan has 15 goals in 30 games against the Flyers, including the only two hat tricks of his career.

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Grossmann to a reported hip injury. Grossmann, the NHL leader with 68 blocked shots, was injured in the first period and did not return. (Spare defenseman Kurtis Foster missed practice Tuesday because of an illness, and defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who was ill in the beginning of the week, is recovering from a dislocated left shoulder.)

New York, which lost Marc Staal to a frightening-looking eye injury in the final period, played without injured center Brad Richards, its No. 3 scorer.

The Flyers were putting the finishing touches on one of their best road periods of the season when disaster struck.

An errant Brayden Schenn pass was picked up by Ryan McDonagh, who fed it ahead to Callahan late in the first period. Callahan made a clever move out front, skated past sliding defenseman Luke Schenn, and beat Bryzgalov with 40.6 seconds left in the period, tying the score at 2.

Earlier, the Flyers had gotten power-play goals from Simmonds and Jake Voracek - the sizzling wingers both scored their 10th, tops on the team - to put the visitors ahead, 2-1.

Simmonds' pass set up Voracek.

"I was at the right spot," said Voracek, who scored on his own rebound, giving him seven goals and 10 assists in his last nine games. "He made a great play and I had a lucky rebound."

It was the Flyers' 24th game, marking the halfway point of the shortened season.

"We've had our ups and downs, with injuries, with the schedule and back-to-back games, and having somewhat of a new group," winger Scott Hartnell said before the game. "I'd say all in all, we're not overly excited where we are, but we're in the playoff hunt and that's what it's all about right now."

For the Flyers, the hunt will get more difficult because their next two opponents are Pittsburgh (Thursday) and Boston (Saturday), two of the East's powers. 

Contact Sam Carchidi at  scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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