Flyers beat Rangers 2-1 for 1st win of the season

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ilya Bryzgalov helped the Philadelphia Flyers brush off a lopsided power play and the worst start in franchise history.

It sure helped that the Flyers finally showed some scoring punch — and threw a few with their fists.

Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored to lead the Flyers to their first win of the season, 2-1 over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

The Flyers not only avoided their first 0-4 start in team history, they beat the Rangers for the first time in two seasons. The Rangers defeated the Flyers all six games last season, including a win in the Winter Classic.

Bryzgalov was fantastic in the third period when the Flyers killed consecutive 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 power plays. The fans went wild and gave the orange and black a standing ovation when the Flyers held off the Rangers for a total of 3 minutes, 59 seconds on the advantages. Bryzgalov made four saves over that span.

"I don't know exactly what it means to say 'Flyers hockey,' but I like the way the team played tonight and I think we deserved the win," he said.

The Flyers needed the good news after they learned All-Star forward Scott Hartnell is expected to miss four to eight weeks because of a broken left foot.

Forward Brayden Schenn served a one-game suspension for charging New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov, and Philadelphia also played without forward Danny Briere (broken left wrist).

But the Flyers had enough to beat Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. Both teams are last in the Atlantic Division at 1-3.

Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette credited the fantastic special teams work on killing the lengthy Rangers power play.

"You never want to deal with 5-on-3s but you certainly don't want to deal with them for 2 minutes," he said. "Guys did a really good job executing and blocking shots, and we got a couple of big saves when we needed it."

The Flyers were already facing a crucial contest only four games into a 48-game season and a weekend road swing ahead in Florida.

Before the game, general manager Paul Holmgren said Hartnell could be sidelined up to two months, and the team was "looking around" for scoring help. He quickly found it. The Flyers are on the brink of signing veteran forward Mike Knuble.

Knuble will take a physical on Friday and should be available for weekend games at Florida and Tampa Bay. Holmgren said it was 50-50 whether Briere will be available then.

The Flyers clearly had some frustration to take out, and they delivered against the Rangers.

Nicklas Grossmann crushed Marian Gaborik on a clean check into the side boards early in the first period that brought the crowd to life. In the second, Flyers forward Tye McGinn pummeled Kris Newbury. McGinn connected with rights to Newbury's head before the punishment was mercifully stopped.

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