Nash, Callahan get Rangers past Flyers
New York, NY – Rick Nash registered the go-ahead and insurance tallies in the third period, as the New York Rangers shook off the absence of a key player to overcome the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden.
Ryan Callahan added two early scores for the Rangers, who did not have the services of Brad Richards after he was injured Sunday night on an illegal hit by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta but nonetheless won their sixth straight home game against Philadelphia.
"We found a way. It was a ground-it-out type of game the first couple periods. Nash steps up again in the third period, makes a couple big plays, and we found a way to win," said Rangers head coach John Tortorella.
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves as the Blueshirts have taken three straight overall. The 31-year-old Swede pulled within two of John Vanbiesbrouck (26) for the club's all-time lead in wins over the Orange and Black.
Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek notched power-play scores for the Flyers, who slipped below .500 (11-12-1) after seeing a two-game win streak snapped.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped just 16 pucks in defeat.
Not good, we're not good," said Bryzgalov when asked how he'd sum up his club at the midway point. "Obviously, we're not where we want to be. And the farther it is gonna be is going to be more ugly. This is the reality."
Following a scoreless but spirited middle 20 minutes, Nash put the hosts ahead with less than three minutes played, sliding the puck between the arm and body of Bryzgalov from an odd-man rush.
Nash then doubled the New York edge at 11:42, cutting from left to right and sliding a backhander home. The score was set up when the Flyers failed to execute a line change.
"That's my job, that's what I am trying to do," Nash said of his role as timely goal scorer. "It's fun for me to play in front of a sold out building in a hockey city that truly loves the Rangers. I think it���s fun for our whole team to perform in front of these fans."
Lundqvist made a save on Danny Briere in front with under two minutes left, and Bryzgalov was pulled for an extra skater seconds later. The visitors narrowly missed several quality chances in the final minute.
New York received the game's first power play and registered the first goal at the 90-second mark as Derek Stepan fed Callahan and the Rangers' captain roofed a shot from the right side.
Philadelphia gained the second advantage and evened the score as Simmonds stood atop the crease for a redirection of a Claude Giroux feed at 7:18. Voracek followed up his own rebound on another Flyers power play and it was 2-1 with 2:03 left in the period.
Callahan then moved around a sliding Luke Schenn on the left side, cut in and scored on the forehand with 41 seconds left.
New York hasn't lost to Philadelphia at home since Feb. 20, 2011, and has taken 10 of the last 13 home matchups since March of 2009 against their long- time rivals ... Nash, who has scored in a season-high three straight games, notched his first multi-goal effort with the Rangers ... Callahan's two scores proved to be his first multi-score performance since a hat trick against the Flyers in a 5-2 road win on Feb. 11, 2012 ... The Flyers lost defenseman Nicklas Grossmann to a lower-body injury following the first period ... Rangers defenseman Marc Staal left the game in the third period after being hit in the face by a deflected shot ... Prior to the game, the Flyers recalled forward Eric Wellwood from Adirondack of the AHL and the Rangers recalled forward Micheal Haley from Connecticut.