for this game

Red-hot Rangers edge Flyers for fourth straight win

Dec 13, 2006 - 2:29 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Kevin Weekes and the surging New York Rangers picked a good time to square off with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Weekes made 15 saves to win for the second time in three days as the Rangers skated to their fourth straight victory, a 3-1 triumph over the injury-riddled Flyers.

Facing a Philadelphia club playing without injured forwards Peter Forsberg (foot), Geoff Sanderson (abdominal), Jeff Carter (ankle), Mike Richards (abdominal) and Sami Kapanen (back), New York allowed a season-low 16 shots.

"It is challenging when it's that way," Weekes said. "In some respects, it's tougher to play. But often times, that means that the guys in front of you are doing a lot of the right things. Our guys were doing that tonight. We had every guy on every line cycle the puck down low. When you see guys doing that, that means that they're working hard."

Weekes, who stopped a season-high 34 shots in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers, made just his third start since November 15.

"It always nice to play especially when you've been accustomed to playing," Weekes said. "More importantly, we got a win. We put two more points in the piggy bank and we move forward."

"We have a plan with our goaltenders that we like to try to follow," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "As much as (Weekes) played tonight, it wasn't necessarily a reward, it was per schedule because of what's coming up."

New York on Tuesday began a stretch in which they play seven games in 12 days. But Renney took a moment to reflect on his team's four-game winning streak, in which they have yielded a total of just five goals.

"It's just believing in each other and our system of play," he said. "It's believing in team defense and how we have to commit to that. ... It's a long season and we want to make sure that we get ourselves to a level that we like, that we can improve on and sustain."

Normally a backup for Vezina Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist, Weekes barely broke a sweat until the closing minutes, when the Flyers barraged him with a flurry of shots in a desperate attempt to forge a tie.

"We had the chances but we didn't score," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "We almost tied it up, and then they get a two-on-one the other way and that made it a two-goal game. I thought we hung in there but we are looking to win hockey games."

Matt Cullen, Jarkko Immonen and Michael Nylander tallied for the Rangers, who improved to 17-10-4 and climbed two points ahead of the New Jersey Devils (17-10-2) for first place in the Atlantic Division.

"Any time you put together a streak, it feels good," Cullen said. "Your confidence jumps a level. If you're going to be a top-10 team in this league, you have to keep going. We can't let up because everybody in our division is so close."

New York took the lead for good at 15:55 of the middle session on Immonen's first goal of the season. He retrieved a dump-in from Cullen and flipped a backhander from the left faceoff circle past Philadelphia's Antero Niittymaki to make it 2-1.

"On that second goal, I don't know how I didn't make that save," Niittymaki said. "That's a bad goal, too."

The Rangers padded their lead with 4:27 remaining when Nylander took a centering feed from Martin Straka and buried his 12th tally of the campaign. With the assist, Straka extended his points streak to a career-high 11 games.

The Rangers opened the scoring at 6:56 of the first period when Cullen gathered a loose puck near the net and poked it past Niittymaki for his fifth goal of the season.

But Philadelphia forged a tie 25 seconds later when R.J. Umberger took a centering feed from Todd Fedoruk and wristed a shot past Weekes for his eight tally.

Niittymaki made 31 saves for the Flyers, who went 0-for-4 on the power play en route to their fourth consecutive loss.

"If you look at the guys out of our lineup right now, every guy is a veteran guy," Stevens said. "They are all key guys that can help us. We have three of our centers out of the lineup, and those are big holes to fill. It is what it is, and we have to try to find ways to move people around and solidify our lineup."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 1 3
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JARKKO A. IMMONEN)
    6:56
    PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 8 (TODD FEDORUK, JUSSI TIMONEN) 7:21
    2ND PRD: NYR - JARKKO A. IMMONEN 1 (MATT CULLEN, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:55
    3RD PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLA

    Dec 12 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 3
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 12 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    15:33

    Rangers vs. FlyersDec 12 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JARKKO A. IMMONEN)
    6:56
    PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 8 (TODD FEDORUK, JUSSI TIMONEN) 7:21
    2ND PRD: NYR - JARKKO A. IMMONEN 1 (MATT CULLEN, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 12 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - JARKKO A. IMMONEN 1 (MATT CULLEN, FEDOR TYUTIN) 15:55

    Rangers vs. FlyersDec 12 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JARKKO A. IMMONEN)
    6:56
    PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 8 (TODD FEDORUK, JUSSI TIMONEN) 7:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 16

    Dec 12 7:39 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 8 (TODD FEDORUK, JUSSI TIMONEN) 7:21

    Rangers vs. FlyersDec 12 7:21 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 5 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JARKKO A. IMMONEN)
    6:56

    Rangers vs. FlyersDec 12 7:21 PM