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Flyers Cruise Past Rangers, 4-1

Saturday, 04.15.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Flyers Cruise Past Rangers, 4-1


Philadelphia, PA – In their most important and final home game of the season so far, the Philadelphia Flyers dominated the New York Rangers from start to finish in recording a 4-1 victory Saturday afternoon at the Wachovia Center.

The victory brings the Flyers to within a point of the first place Rangers for the Atlantic Division title. Philadelphia has one game in hand, and will win the division with victories in its final two games of the season; Sunday in New Jersey (1:00 p.m., CSN) and Tuesday night on Long Island (7:00 p.m., UPN). The Flyers moved two points ahead of idle New Jersey.

"Right off the bat we came out hard and played really solid today," said Peter Forsberg. "We're one point behind [the Rangers] and we have one more game. So it looks pretty good."

Leading 1-0, Jeff Carter set up a pair of goals as the Flyers took a commanding lead.

First, Niko Dimitrakos increased his point-scoring streak to five games when he lifted in a backhanded feed from Carter on an odd-man rush at 18:09 of the first period. Carter froze defenseman Tom Poti by faking a shot and getting him out of position before sliding the puck to Dimitrakos.

Dimitrakos, acquired from San Jose at the trading deadline, has two goals and three assists in his last five games.

"We felt like we needed to give Niko Dimitrakos a big part of our hockey club," said Ken Hitchcock. "When we made the decision to put him [on Carter's line], we felt like it was a terrific opportunity for him and we hoped that he would take advantage of it. What Dimitrakos brings to the line is that he is really calm with the puck and he allows Carter and [R.J.] Umberger to get open."

It was Carter again setting up the third goal at 5:44 of the second period, again going around Poti, but this time feeding Umberger for an easy goal for the rookie.

"It seems like we have a little everything on our line: speed, [Carter's] shot, his ability to skate with the puck, hard work. We just seemed to gel and it's been that way since day one when we put together the line," said Umberger. "It doesn't hurt when you're good friends off the ice. The three of us are pretty good friends. When Niko came it just seemed like we clicked off-ice right away."

"The way things are going right now, we're putting the puck in the net and playing pretty well overall," said Carter. "If we can take pressure off of [the Forsberg line] and give them a little more space to go out and do their thing, it's definitely a good thing."

Philadelphia kept pouring on the offense, as Petr Nedved tallied on a give-and-go with Michal Handzus from the slot midway through the period to make it 4-0.

Antero Niittymaki allowed a power play goal to Marian Hossa at 11:38 to make it a 4-1 game, but stopped a breakaway by Petr Sykora with 2:20 left in the frame as the Flyers went to the locker room with a three-goal cushion.

Tempers flared a bit in the third period, when New York's Ryan Hollweg came in on a check high on Forsberg. Mike Knuble hit Hollweg and Simon Gagne also came charging in for the scrum in the corner. Philadelphia picked up the extra minor on the play but killed it off.

Later, Forsberg was called for charging after Hollweg at 12:06, but just missed hitting the scoring-impaired New Yorker cleanly behind the Philadelphia net. Once again, Philadelphia's penalty killing unit prevented a goal.

Both teams finished 1-for-6 on the power play.

Hitchcock, who stressed after Friday's practice that the Flyers need to get off to strong starts in order to be successful, got just what he wanted as Philadelphia outshot New York 15-3 over the first 20 minutes in taking the lead.

Forsberg, who missed the last four games with a groin injury, made his presence felt early when he set up Knuble for a power play goal at 8:09. Forsberg sent a pass through defenseman Fedor Tyutin in the crease and Knuble was in front on the other side to knock it in.

Niittymaki made 25 saves to pick up the win while Kevin Weekes stopped 25 Flyers shots in a losing effort.

Philadelphia and New York split their eight-game season series.

FLYERS NOTES
Freddy Meyer posted two assists and has five in his last three games. … Robert Esche, originally scheduled to start the game, was out with the flu. He is due to start on Sunday in New Jersey … Rangers starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist remains out with a groin injury. … The Flyers announced they set a new single-season attendance record with 805,703 fans. … Knuble has scored the first goal of the game 11 times this season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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