PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wojtek Wolski’s shootout goal lifted the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Wolski’s goal came in the second round of the shootout after Erik Christensen had scored for New York in the first. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Nikolay Zherdev and Claude Giroux on the Flyers’ shootout chances.
The Rangers picked up two points to pull ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with 89 points. The Sabres have 88 points and were scheduled to play the ninth-place Carolina Hurricanes later Sunday.
New York entered the day on a two-game losing streak that cut its lead over the Hurricanes to one point with one week left in the regular season.
Bryan McCabe and Ruslan Fedotenko scored for the Rangers in regulation and James Van Riemsdyk and Zherdev had the Flyers’ goals.
Wolski’s deciding shot trickled past Sergei Bobrovski before hitting the inside of the right post and bouncing out. The play was briefly reviewed by the video officials before being declared a goal.
The Atlantic Division-leading Flyers pulled even with the Washington Capitals atop the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia currently holds the tiebreaker because it has one more regulation win than the Capitals. Both teams have three games remaining.
On Saturday, the Flyers fell out of first in the East for the first time since Jan. 8.
The Rangers won for the eighth time in 12 games and topped the Flyers for the second time in the six-game season series. New York will play its final three regular-season games at home as it tries to get into the playoffs after a one-year absence.
New York rallied from an early deficit and then pulled out the win after giving up a 2-1 lead in the third period. The Rangers are 28-0 this season when leading after two periods.
After the Flyers took a 1-0 lead on a goal by James Van Riemsdyk, the Rangers tied it on defenseman McCabe’s goal during a 5-on-3 power play with under one second remaining in the first period.
The Rangers went ahead 2-1 when Fedotenko scored with 6:30 left in the second period, but the Flyers got even on Zherdev’s goal 4:32 into the third.
The Flyers went 0 for 4 on the power play and are 2 for 29 in their last 11 games with an extra attacker. Their struggles with the man advantage have coincided with defenseman Chris Pronger’s hand injury that required surgery.
Notes: The goal by Zherdev, a former Rangers forward, was his first since Jan. 23, though he didn’t play in 19 games during that stretch. … The Flyers were without C Danny Briere, who missed the game because of an undisclosed lower body injury. … Philadelphia C Blair Betts sustained a lower body injury during the game and didn’t return. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said neither injury is serious. The Rangers improved to 9-3 in shootouts this season, while the Flyers fell to 3-7. Philadelphia is 1-4 in shootouts since March 17.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)