Lundqvist, Rangers top Flyers 4-2

Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in his second win over powerful

Philadelphia this season, and rookie defenseman Stu Bickel had two

more assists for the New York Rangers, who beat the Flyers 4-2 and

moved into first place in the Atlantic Division on Friday

night.

Bickel, in his third NHL game, helped set up goals by Derek

Stepan and Ruslan Fedotenko in the second period. He has four

assists since being recalled from the AHL, hitting the score sheet

in every game.

Marian Gaborik added his league-leading 21st goal early in the

third period and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers

(21-8-4), who jumped over the Flyers (21-9-4) in the Atlantic with

their fourth straight win – including three in four days over

divisional foes.

Fans chanted, ”First Place!” as the final minutes ticked

down.

The Flyers own the NHL’s best road record this season (13-4-2),

but you wouldn’t know it from their two trips to Madison Square

Garden, where they have scored only two goals. The Rangers beat

them 2-0 on Nov. 26 behind Lundqvist’s 29-saves.

Andrej Meszaros spoiled Lundqvist’s bid for another shutout when

he scored a power-play goal with 9:39 left, and James van Riemsdyk

made it 4-2 with 2:10 to go.

Philadelphia was hampered this time without center Danny Briere,

who missed the game because of an injury to his right ring finger,

sustained in Wednesday night’s 4-1 win at Dallas. The Flyers, who

entered with a league-high 116 goals and 3.52 per game, are 1-2-1

since a seven-game winning streak.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 20 saves in the loss.

The Flyers’ next chance to knock off the Rangers will come on

Jan. 2 in the outdoor Winter Classic in Philadelphia.

The Rangers broke the scoreless deadlock with the first of their

two deflected goals in the second period.

Stepan made it 1-0 at 10:18 when he got the blade of his stick

on a right-point drive by Bickel and squeezed the puck just inside

the right post, past the surprised Bryzgalov, who thrust his head

up in disbelief.

Bickel struck again 5:12 later when another shot from the right

point caught the stick of Fedotenko, surged into the net off the

back bar and bounded back out. The red light went on and the

Rangers began to celebrate, but the goal was waved off by the

officials. At the next stoppage, a video review determined the goal

was good. It was Fedotenko’s fifth of the season, but his first

point in 10 games since he scored Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay.

Gaborik broke free and gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead 1:48 into the

third. The goal came with a painful price as he was struck near his

left shoulder by the stick of Meszaros. No one has been able to

slow him down recently as Gaborik scored for the fourth straight

game, with six goals in the spurt.

Callahan made it 4-1 with 5:56 remaining.

While there was a shortage of offense and even quality scoring

chances in the first period, there were plenty of hard hits and

even a few rarely seen hip checks. The biggest was delivered by

Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman, who wiped out Flyers forward

Matt Read by driving him into the boards in front of the

Philadelphia bench with just over 9 minutes left.

The Flyers controlled most of the period and held the Rangers

without a shot until Michael Del Zotto’s drive from the left point

was deflected by Bryzgalov’s blocker and off the crossbar with 5:35

remaining. After being outshot 6-0, the Rangers made a strong

recovery and finished the period at 8 shots apiece.

New York out-hit Philadelphia 15-6 in the first, with Bickel

recording five.

NOTES: Bickel had only four points – one goal and three assists

– in 27 games this season with Connecticut of the AHL. … Flyers

RW Jaromir Jagr played his first game at Madison Square Garden

since May 1, 2008, during his final season with the Rangers before

going to Russia’s KHL. He heard boos often when he touched the

puck.