NEW YORK NY - FEBRUARY 20: Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Philadelpia Flyers is congratulated by his teammates for his second period goal against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 20 2011 in New York City. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Flyers 4, Rangers 2: Kris Versteeg's Empty Netter Halts New York's Comeback Effort

Kris Versteeg scored his first goal with the Philadelphia Flyers as they beat their division rival New York Rangers, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon.

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Flyers Vs. Rangers: Philadelphia Holds Off New York Surge, Wins 4-2

Prior to this one, we wondered if the Philadelphia Flyers would look for revenge on Rangers forward Sean Avery. In the last meeting between these two Atlantic Division rivals, Avery pummeled soft defenseman Matt Carle in Carle's first NHL fight, and the Flyers certainly had long memories about it. 

Instead, for just the third time in their long history, the Flyers avoided the penalty sheet all together as they held off the Rangers for a 4-2 victory. Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter teamed up for two goals while Dan Carcillo added the game-winner and Kris Versteeg's first as a Flyer came with an empty net. 

New York controlled the first period and earned a 1-0 lead when Wojtek Wolski batted a bouncing puck through Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher. The Flyers fought back to take a two-goal lead before Derek Stepan cut that lead to 3-2 in the third period. The Rangers outshot Philadelphia 15-3 in the final 20 minutes, but Boucher was up to the task.

Marian Gaborik and Sean O'Donnell each left the game with injuries in the first period. Boucher went down in the third but stayed in the game. The Flyers now have just five points less than they finished with a year ago with 23 games left on the schedule. Philadelphia now has a 17 point lead over the Rangers in the Atlantic Division. 


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Derek Stepan Scores, Gets MSG Crowd Into Game

The atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was pretty dull after the Philadelphia Flyers took a two-goal lead over the home-standing New York Rangers, but Derek Stepan's third period goal has both his team and the crowd back in the game.

Brian Boucher failed to notice the puck that bounced by him off the stick of Stepan. The goal came just moments after Boucher seemed to be seriously injured. He made a brilliant save on a Stepan chance and fell to the ice in obvious pain. He shook his hand and flailed his legs back and forth in the crease while the officials blew the play dead. 

After a TV timeout, Boucher got up off the ice under his own power and after consulting with team trainer Jim McCrossin, he stayed in the Philadelphia net. 

The Rangers are back in the game and are swarming in an attempt to even the score. We'll see if the Flyers can hold them off. 


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Dan Carcillo Beats Henrik Lundqvist, Gives Philly Two-Goal Lead

Dan Carcillo isn't known for scoring goals, and he probably shouldn't have one today. He does, though, and Henrik Lundqvist certainly wants it back. 

On a bit of a broken play in front, Carcillo just threw a backhanded chance on goal through a Rangers defenseman. Inexplicably, Lundqvist lifted his left pad off the ice and the puck found its way under and into the back of the net. It was the complete opposite of what you'd expect from both players --  a goal from Carcillo and a weak one allowed from Lundqvist.

It's 3-1 Philadelphia, and the East's best team has certainly taken over the game since falling behind 1-0 in the first period. The Rangers head into the locker room with a two-goal deficit ahead of them, and John Tortorella's bunch is going to have some work ahead of them in the third.


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter Team Up To Give Philadelphia 2-1 Lead

Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter are finding some chemistry this afternoon. After Giroux's assist on Carter's first period goal, the two teamed up on the power play midway through the second to give Philadelphia their first lead of the game. 

Carter had a great chance at the net on the power play, but Henrik Lundqvist was up to the task. He turned the puck aside and Carter found his own rebound below the goal line, where he dished out front to Giroux who lifted the shot over the prone Ranger goaltender. 

After the Rangers dominated the majority of the first period, it's been mostly all Flyers here in the second. They're controlling the play and they've forced the Rangers in to three penalties today. 

Marian Gaborik is out for the day for New York with an unknown injury while defenseman Sean O'Donnell is out with a lower body injury. 


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Marian Gaborik, Sean O'Donnell Leave With Injuries

Early in the first period, Flyers defenseman Sean O'Donnell went down hard in the corner. He made his way to the bench and sat around for a little while before making his way down the tunnel to the locker room during a break in play. 

According to the team, he suffered a lower-body injury on the play and will not return. It looked like his knee, but we can't be sure about that. We won't know more until after the game or Monday.

The Flyers have not suffered many significant injuries this season, but the depth the team has on defense will certainly help should O'Donnell miss any period of time. Oskars Bartulis is routinely a healthy scratch at the position.

The Rangers are down a forward this afternoon, too. Marian Gaborik didn't come back to the bench after the first period and, according to the team, he will not return. MYSTERY!


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Claude Giroux's Hard Work Gets Philly On The Board

Claude Giroux is a magician with the puck, and with time running down in the second period and his Flyers struggling, some hard work in the offensive zone helped them get on the board.

Giroux stripped Ryan McDonagh of the puck in the corner before evading two Rangers defenders and backhanding the puck towards the net. It was deflected by Jeff Carter and may have hit the skate of Scott Hartnell before beating Henrik Lundqvist. Tie game, 1-1.

For most of the first period, the Rangers had controlled the pace and the direction of play. Wojtek Wolski's goal got New York on the board, and with the way the Flyers were languishing, it looked like it may have been a long afternoon. 

But almost on a dime, the Flyers seemed to get their legs under them a bit. In the next few shifts after the Wolski goal you could sense that the momentum was shifting a bit. Giroux's hard work on the goal, credited to Carter for now, was the manifestation of that momentum shift. 

We're evened up at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes. 


Rangers Vs. Flyers: Wojtek Wolski Scores 10th Goal To Give New York 1-0 Lead

For the second game in a row, the Philadelphia Flyers are being outplayed by an Eastern Conference team in desperate need of points. Despite one tough chance on Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers have thoroughly outplayed the Flyers in all three zones.

The Rangers first goal, scored 12:43 into the first, was a great example of that. With the puck bouncing around in front, New York had about five cracks at the net. The Flyers had about that many chances to get rid of the puck, too, but failed to do so. Wojtek Wolski knocked the puck through Brian Boucher, who looked lost for the entire sequence, to give New York the 1-0 lead.

The score is completely indicative of the play on the ice right now. Great for the Rangers, not so great for the Flyers. 


Flyers Vs. Rangers: Atlantic Division Rivals Battle On Hockey Day In America

The Philadelphia Flyers have had a pretty impressive season thus far, but this one stat stands out as particularly awesome: they haven't lost back-to-back road games since October. Coming off a tough loss in Carolina on Friday night, the Flyers will try to keep that going today against the New York Rangers.

You can see today's game on NBC at 12:30 p.m. For full TV information around today's five games, click here

While the Flyers hope to continue a rather meaningless streak, the Rangers have a whole lot more to play for. Just six points above the water line in the East with the Buffalo Sabres holding three games in hand, the Rangers are in desperate need of all the points they can handle.

So the big question today as the teams face off at Madison Square Garden: can the Flyers match the intensity of the Rangers, who clearly have a much bigger stake in this game? If the last meeting between these teams is any indication, that shouldn't be much of an issue. 

In that game, the teams got into the physical play often, with Sean Avery of the Rangers dropping Matt Carle of the Flyers in a fight. Philadelphia was not happy with Avery following that incident and it'll be interesting to see if anything carries over today. Tough guy Jody Shelley is in the lineup for the Flyers, but his only potential fighting partner, Derek Boogaard of the Rangers, is out with an injury. 

Dan Carcillo, Brandon Prust, Mike Richards and Brandon Dubinsky seem more likely to drop the gloves today. Henrik Lundqvist is in goal for the Rangers while Brian Boucher will man the pipes for Philadelphia. 

Check in with Blueshirt Banter and Broad Street Hockey for more. 

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