NEW YORK (AP) — Claude Giroux and Daniel Carcillo scored second-period goals and the Philadelphia Flyers shook off an early deficit and beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Sunday.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead for the first time in eight games when Wojtek Wolski scored with 7:21 left in the first period, but Jeff Carter got the Flyers even later in the frame. Carter and Giroux had a goal and assist each.
Despite outplaying Philadelphia in the first, the Rangers had only a tie to show for it. The tide turned in the second.
Giroux took advantage of Wolski’s boarding penalty at 12:52, and Carcillo made it 3-1 with 3:34 left. Brian Boucher did the rest and finished with 37 saves — 14 in the third period. The Flyers have won the first four of the six-game series against the Rangers, whose once seemingly secure playoff spot is slipping away.
Boucher had a rough few minutes early in the third, first when he was injured and then when Derek Stepan got the Rangers within 3-2 at 5:28.
During a scramble in front, Boucher was struck by teammate Kimmo Timonen near his neck in a collision. He remained down on his stomach, flailing his legs, before gathering himself.
Stepan scored his 16th goal moments later when Dan Girardi’s shot took a funny bounce off the end boards into the crease for a dunk shot.
Kris Versteeg sealed it by scoring into an empty net with 45.3 seconds left.
New York is 2-7-1 in its last 10 and is two points ahead of eighth-place Carolina.
Buffalo, the team just below the postseason cutoff, is six points behind.
The Rangers could be facing even more trouble if they are forced to play without top-line forward Marian Gaborik. The speedy right wing didn’t play after the first period Sunday. No reason was immediately given.
Despite a down season, Gaborik provides the biggest scoring threat for the Rangers, who have scored three goals or fewer 11 times in 13 games. New York has lost two straight after a two-game winning streak, including a 1-0 defeat at New Jersey on Friday.
The Rangers will play the Hurricanes on Tuesday at Carolina.
On the flip side, the Flyers have no need to look behind them. Philadelphia bounced back quickly following a 3-2 loss at Carolina on Friday and won for the sixth time in eight games to stretch its lead over second-place Tampa Bay to eight points.
Philadelphia looked sluggish early and Boucher appeared to fight the puck on several occasions. The Flyers helped themselves by not taking any penalties.
Wolski put the Rangers in front by jamming in a shot after Boucher seemed to lose sight of the puck once Michael Sauer’s earlier drive hit the right post.
Carter tied it 4:03 later when he deflected in Giroux’s shot. Giroux gave the Flyers the lead off a pretty behind-the-back pass from Carter, and Carcillo followed his rebound in front 3:34 later to beat Henrik Lundqvist, who made 20 saves.
Notes: Flyers D Sean O’Donnell sustained an undisclosed lower body injury in the first period and didn’t return. He played only one shift. … Flyers captain Mike Richards returned after missing one game (flu). … Giroux has 18 points in 16 games. Carter has 17 in the same span. … The Rangers went without a power play for the second time this season.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)