New York at Philadelphia

Rangers ruin Flyers' chance at home-ice advantage for playoff opener wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers' blown third-period lead cost them a victory and a stay at home.

Jeff Carter, Danny Briere and the rest of the Flyers are packing their bags for Pittsburgh for the first round of the playoffs.

Sean Avery and Blair Betts scored third-period goals to rally the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory against the Flyers on Sunday, spoiling Philadelphia's shot at home-ice advantage against Pittsburgh in its opening playoff series.

"We were going to have to play there at some point anyway," Briere said. "If we get to a Game 7, we'll talk it about if we get there."

The Flyers (99 points) needed only a point in the finale to secure the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and home ice in the best-of-7 series with Pittsburgh. Instead, the rematch from last season's conference finals will start in Pittsburgh. The Flyers went 2-2-2 against the fourth-seeded Penguins; three of the games were decided by one goal.

"I think this group has always found a way to do it the hard way, but they have always found a way to do it," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "It's an exciting matchup with great young players on both teams and great stories throughout the year on both teams."

The Rangers are the No. 7 seed and have a first-round matchup with Southeast Division champion Washington.

New York already knew its seed and matchup, and gamely tried to send the Flyers packing for Pittsburgh. Avery tied it at 3 on a slap shot past Martin Biron early in the third, with the goal announcement drowned out by boos and derogatory chants aimed at the instigator.

Only minutes later, Betts took the loose puck and scored his sixth goal midway through the period for a 4-3 lead. The Flyers pressured Henrik Lundqvist the rest of the way. They couldn't get that crucial tying goal and the angry crowd booed as the Flyers skated off the ice.

Avery tangled with Scott Hartnell near the benches at the end of the game.

"We talked about it before the game about going into the playoffs winning a few games in a row, feeling really good about ourselves, and a win on the road," Lundqvist said. "It's a lot of good things."

The Flyers won 20 games on the road this season and reached the Eastern Conference finals last year despite not having home-ice advantage in any of the three series. Still, all they needed was to avoid losing in regulation to the Rangers to maybe make the championship road a bit easier.

"We should have had the mentality of going out there and get a two-goal lead or three-goal lead," Briere said. "We just sat back and waited to see what was going to happen."

Carter capped a career season with his 46 goals, second only to Washington's Alex Ovechkin's 56 in the NHL. He enters the postseason on a sizzling hot streak with five goals and eight points in his last six games and a point in 10 of his last 14 games.

He won a four-player fight for the puck along the boards, skated into the circle and whizzed the puck past Lundqvist for a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Carter should be happy to see the Penguins on the playoff bracket: He has three goals and eight points against them this season.

Brandon Dubinsky scored two goals for the Rangers and spoiled Philadelphia's season-long streak of not allowing a short-handed goal. His second goal of the game was short-handed, wrecking Philadelphia's shot of becoming the second team in NHL history to play an entire season without allowing one. The Flyers' streak of 103 consecutive games without surrendering a short-handed goal was the longest since Montreal went 122 games from March 1975 to November 1976.

Briere had an assist on Claude Giroux's ninth goal of the season in the first period, and scored one of his own off a deflection in the second to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead.

Dubinsky's first goal of the game came off on a fortuitous bounce. Derek Morris' shot from the blue line appeared to deflect off the skate of Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and scoot through Biron's legs and tie it at 1.

"I thought we showed a lot of character by coming down here and winning this game," Rangers forward Markus Naslund said.

Stop that shot and maybe the Flyers are looking at overtime. Now they're looking at a trip to Pittsburgh.


  • The Flyers last allowed a short-handed goal on Feb. 19, 2008.
  • Briere had a point in 10 of his last 13 games.
  • The Flyers outscored the Rangers 10-2 in the second period this season.
  • Lundqvist finished with a career-high 38 victories.
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Sean Avery compounds Philly's frustration by getting under Scott Hartnell's skin.  (Getty Images)
Sean Avery compounds Philly's frustration by getting under Scott Hartnell's skin. (Getty Images)
Related Links
NY Rangers  (43-30-9) «2024
Philadelphia (44-27-11)2103
Three Stars
B. Dubinsky

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
D. Briere

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Betts

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:26Claude Giroux (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Briere, Asham
08:07Power Play - Brandon Dubinsky (12), Tip-In. Assist: Morris, Zherdev
12:36Power Play - Jeff Carter (46), Wrist Shot. Assist: Carle, Biron
14:47Short - Brandon Dubinsky (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Antropov, Morris
02:19Daniel Briere (11), Tip-In. Assist: Alberts, Asham
04:35Sean Avery (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Gomez, Naslund
09:02Blair Betts (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Voros, Redden
Penalty Summary
06:25Timonen, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
10:41Dubinsky, 2 min, High-Sticking
13:39Avery, 2 min, Slashing
04:27Morris, 2 min, Hooking
07:23Asham, 2 min, Cross-Checking
13:35Richards, 2 min, Hooking
02:27Giroux, 2 min, Hooking
20:00Lupul, 2 min, Boarding
20:00Avery, 4 min, Roughing
20:00Hartnell, 4 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
New York11101031
Henrik Lundqvist60:00283
Martin Biron58:48274
Game Information
Attendance - 19648
Referees - Brian Pochmara, Paul Devorski
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Brian Murphy
Other Games
Det 0 Final
Chi 3
StL 1 Final
Colo 0
Bos 6 Final