NEW YORK -- It’s amazing the direction the Flyers and Rangers have gone in since last April 11.
Since Brian Boucher stopped Olli Jokinen in a shootout on that magical day in game No. 82, the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals and the Rangers went to the country club.
And it’s continued into this season, as the Flyers are in first place in the Eastern Conference and the Rangers are in danger of being out of playoff contention yet again.
On Sunday, despite going nearly 13 minutes without a shot after Dan Carcillo’s game-winning goal, the Flyers hung on for a 4-2 win to continue that dominance as part of Hockey Day in America.
Since April 11, the Flyers have now outscored New York 14-6 over four games to go 4-0-0.
If you include the Islanders and Devils as part of the New York metropolitan area, the Flyers are 10-1-1 against New York area teams this season. They are 13-2-1 against the Atlantic division and 32-10-2 against the Eastern Conference.
The sputtering Rangers are just 6-11-1 since acquiring Wojtek Wolski on Jan. 10, a trade some called one of the best of general manager Glen Sather’s tenure.
Wolski, coincidentally, gave the Rangers are 1-0 lead yesterday but Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux each assisted on goals for each other, as the Flyers bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead.
Carcillo increased it to 3-1 with just 3:34 to play in the second period on a backhand that snuck through Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s five-hole.
After that, it was lights out for the Flyers - who are now 30-1-2 when leading after two periods. Derek Stepan’s goal in the third period, which cut it to 3-2, wouldn’t phase them.
O’DONNELL OUT: The Flyers, unfortunately, did not get much out of defenseman Sean O’Donnell on Sunday. His first shift of the game was his only shift.
O’Donnell awkwardly collided with shifty Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello in the corner and remained on the Flyers’ bench for the remainder of the first period
He played just 1:03 before leaving with what Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren deemed a lower-body injury. It appeared as if O’Donnell injured his knee in the spill, but that is just speculation. The Flyers are required to say no more with the injury than that it effects his lower-body.
There is no word yet as to the severity of O’Donnell’s injury. O’Donnell, 39, has played in all 59 games this season and has played in at least 78 games in each of the last 6 seasons.
His injury forced the Flyers to scramble with just five defenseman for the remaining 58:57, as Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros all saw their ice times increase.
SIGH OF RELIEF: Remember the year of the seven goalies? Flyers fans breathed a serious sigh of relief when starter Brian Boucher remainder in the game after going down with an injury with 15:06 remaining in the third period.
It appeared as if Boucher’s blocker hand (right hand) was ran over by the skate of Kimmo Timonen. Boucher was writhing in pain on the ice, but after being attended to by trainer Jim McCrossin, he remained in the game.
The Rangers scored to make it 3-2 just 34 seconds later, though that was as close as they would get. Boucher stopped 36 of 38 shots in all.
STAT OF THE DAY: Sunday was just the third time in Flyers history they went all 60 minutes without being whistled for a single penalty.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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