Philadelphia, PA – Marian Gaborik and Ryan McDonagh totaled a goal and assist each as the New York Rangers used a four-goal first period to claim a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday, clinching both the Atlantic Division crown and the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov also tallied for the Rangers, who swept the six-game season series from their rivals for the first time since going 6-0-0 against Philly during the 1971-72 season.
Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves to record his career-best 39th win of the season, as New York finished atop a division for the first time since winning the inaugural Atlantic title in 1994.
Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who had little in the tank following an emotional win Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Ilya Bryzgalov returned after a three-game absence due to a chip fracture in his right foot, but was shelled for five goals on 24 shots in defeat.
Hartnell brought the hosts back to 5-3 with 9:14 remaining in the game, credited with redirecting an Andreas Lilja wrister from between the circles, but they let a late power-play chance fall by the wayside.
Bryzgalov was pulled for an extra skater twice within the final two-plus minutes, and the best Flyers chance was swallowed up by Lundqvist on a Simmonds redirect in the final three seconds.
McDonagh snuck a shot past Bryzgalov at 6:25 of the first period, one-timing a Gaborik feed from the left side.
Lundqvist stoned Simmonds with a sweeping glove save on a Philly power play over eight minutes in, and it galvanized New York.
Boyle swept in the rebound of a McDonagh point offering with 8 1/2 minutes left in the period, then Anisimov stuck a backhander home off a rush with 1:58 left for a 3-0 game.
A full two-minute, two-man edge for the visitors followed, thanks to a Marc- Andre Bourdon hooking call and double minor for high sticking to Pavel Kubina.
Callahan pushed the lead to four with 1:22 to play, but fortunately for the Flyers, their foes failed to increase the margin during the 5-on-4 that bled into the start of the second.
Voracek potted his own rebound from the right side with 7:05 left in the period to make it 4-1, but Gaborik ripped one under the crossbar from between the circles on a power play with 50.4 ticks remaining.
Simmonds' slam dunk from the right post cut the deficit to 5-2 with seven seconds to go -- a score coming just six seconds after Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was sent off for holding.
Philadelphia has lost eight in a row overall to the Rangers since February 20, 2011, and hasn't won at home against New York since December 18, 2010...Coming in, Lundqvist carried a 5-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .947 save percentage against the Flyers this season...Lilja hasn't scored since January 2, 2011, a span of 68 games, when he did so for Anaheim against Chicago...The Flyers were without forward Danny Briere and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, both out of the lineup due to injuries suffered on Sunday...Claude Giroux totaled three assists in defeat, surpassing Mark Recchi's 63-assist season in 1999-2000...Brad Richards netted a pair of helpers for the victors.