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Nash, Tortorella reach milestones as Rangers top Flyers
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Rick Nash scored two goals and added an assist, while Derek Stepan delivered a four-point night that propelled the New York Rangers to a 5-2 decision over the fading Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Nash's 300th and 301st career goals helped Rangers head coach John Tortorella to register his 400th win behind the bench and enable the Blueshirts to halt a two-game slide. Stepan aided the cause by tallying once and assisting on three others, with Brad Richards contributing a goal and an assist to the victory.
The Rangers also received a marker from Chris Kreider and a 32-save effort out of Henrik Lundqvist in besting the Flyers for the 11th time in the last 12 matchups between the Atlantic Division rivals.
"It's good for the team that we got five goals as a group, because we have had a lot of games [like] where we fired 45 shots at Florida -- not saying they are all Grade A chances, but a few of those games they mount on you," Richards remarked. "You need something to break where you get five as a team and now everyone feels a little bit looser. Next practice, we will notice a difference right away."
Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia, losers of three in a row and 2-6-1 in its last nine contests. With Tampa Bay winning on Tuesday, the Flyers fell to 14th place out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.
"It's a disappointing night," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "We needed to compete better than we did and we didn't."
Wayne Simmonds also lit the lamp in the setback, with Claude Giroux assisting on both Flyers goals and Ilya Bryzgalov stopping 26-of-31 shots.
A wide-open first period produced a combined 27 shots between the teams but only one goal, with Nash firing a centering feed from Stepan past the stick side of Bryzgalov with just over six minutes remaining in the frame.
Bryzgalov did come up with a sharp save on a breakaway try from Carl Hagelin 26 seconds in, and Lundqvist stoned Scott Hartnell from in close less than four minutes later.
The Rangers struck quickly in the second, though, scoring twice within a span of slightly over 2 1/2 minutes to build a commanding 3-0 lead.
New York's second power-play opportunity of the night ended with Richards ripping a one-timer from Stepan over the glove of Bryzgalov at the 3:14 mark. Shortly afterward, Nash controlled a loose puck and sent it in front for Stepan, who slipped in a backhander all alone from the left side to extend the margin.
The Flyers finally got on the board by virtue of a roughing call on the Rangers' Brian Boyle with three minutes left in the middle session. After a barrage of Philadelphia shots, Simmonds knocked the puck through from in front 53 seconds later to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Philadelphia maintained the momentum during the beginning portions of the final period, and closed within one when Giroux's blast from the left point caromed off Voracek's helmet and trickled by Lundqvist with 6:28 elapsed in the stanza.
New York responded swiftly, though, courtesy of Nash. The dangerous sniper spun around the back of the Philadelphia net and sent a wraparound attempt into an open left side to restore a two-goal advantage a mere 74 seconds after Voracek's score.
Kreider put the finishing touches on the win after converting a give-and-go with Michael Del Zotto with 7:47 left to play.
Tortorella is the 30th head coach in NHL history to reach the 400-win milestone ... Richards' goal was the 250th of his career, while his assist on Kreider's score gave him 800 points all-time ... The Flyers played without forward Danny Briere (concussion) and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (upper body) for a second straight game ... Rangers rookie J.T. Miller returned to the lineup after missing Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to Washington with an injured forearm ... Simmonds and Voracek now have three goals and three assists each in four games against the Rangers this season ... The Flyers fell to 3-13-1 when allowing the game's first goal and 0-12-0 when trailing after one period.
03/26 23:18:48 ET