Flyers 4, Rangers 3
NEW YORK (AP) _ John LeClair’s goal with 3:38 left in the third period lifted the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 triumph over New York on Wednesday night and into a first-place tie with the Rangers in the Atlantic Division.
LeClair beat New York’s Mike Richter with a slap shot from the left circle for his 14th goal of the season as the surging Flyers won their fifth straight.
The victory increased the Flyers’ recent streak to 10-3-2 since they acquired LeClair in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 9.
It also helped the Flyers break a slump of 1-14-2 in Madison Square Garden, where they had lost to the Rangers 5-3 on March 3 in the clubs’ only previous meeting this season.
The teams each have 29 points, although the Flyers had played two fewer games.
Philadelphia scored three times in the first period and New York, which scored four second-period goals in their previous game at the Garden, answered with three in the second.
The Flyers’ No. 1 line of LeClair-Lindros-Mikael Renberg combined for three goals nd seven points.
The Flyers built a 3-0 lead by 4:20 of the first period, scoring three times in a 1:20 span. Renberg and Anatoli Semenov each beat Richter during a big opening charge that left New York without a shot before the game was eight minutes old.
Lindros and Renberg each helped set up the others’ 13th goal of the season while the Flyers were on the power play.
But the Rangers, who outshot the Flyers 6-1 over the last three minutes of the first period, maintained their pace in the second, getting goals from Mark Messier, Glenn Featherstone and Brian Leetch and outshooting Philadelphia 20-4 for the middle 20 minutes. Messier scored on a shorthanded breakaway backhander at 2:52, Featherstone had his first goal since Nov. 7, 1993 on a shot in front at 10:29, then Leetch scored on the power play at 13 minutes with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.