Mad Hattin'


Scott Hartnell did his part to keep Antero Niittymaki's hot streak alive, although for 20 minutes, it seemed in doubt. The Rangers came out firing last night, scoring 2 goals in the game's first period, and things weren't looking good. But they ended the frame with 3 straight penalties, giving the Flyers a 2-man advantage for the first 1:36 of the second.

The Flyers came out of the tunnel on fire, with Mike Knuble tipping one in on the power-play just 40 seconds in. Then the floodgates opened. Stefan Ruzicka netted the next goal, and Scott Hartnell followed with 3 consecutive lamp-lighters. The game marked his second straight 3-point night. Tim Panaccio reports that Coach John Stevens talked to Hartnell earlier this week about stepping up his game while the Flyers are down some players do to injury, and has he ever. Earlier this year, Hartnell couldn't buy a goal, with his first two coming on empty netters, but lately he's had the touch, as you could see on the goal he sent past Henrik Lundquist from behind the goal line. Working on his line is Steve Downie, who added 2 assists last night.

Simon Gagne also scored in his return to the lineup, and clearly had the Rangers' attention, registering 6 shots on goal. Mike Richards added 3 assists, and Danny Briere had two helpers of his own. And Niitty? A mere 39 saves of 41 shots, slamming the door shut after the first period, and letting the Flyers run to a 6-2 win in New York. Highlights after the jump.

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