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Jason Krog scores winner in third to lead Rangers past Flyers 2-1

The Canadian Press
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New York Rangers\' Henrik Lundqvist (30), of Sweden, stops a shot by Philadelphia Flyers\' Kyle Calder (19) in the first period of their NHL hockey game Saturday. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr) Author: The Hockey News

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Jason Krog scores winner in third to lead Rangers past Flyers 2-1

The Canadian Press
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Krog's tie-breaking score 3:49 into the third period came during a wild scramble in front of the net and gave the Rangers a 2-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, sending the Flyers to their ninth straight loss.

"We just got the puck deep and did two or three cycles," Krog said. "Adam (Hall) threw it across the crease and I was just there banging it and it found its way in. We managed to get an ugly one."

It was only the second goal of the year for Krog, a centre playing in his fourth game for the Rangers since being claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Thrashers on Jan. 12.

"I'm sure our line is not looked upon to score too much," Krog added. "It's always nice to contribute whenever you can."

Jaromir Jagr also scored for the Rangers, who had dropped four of their previous five games. Jagr's goal was the 610th of his career, tying him with Bobby Hull for 13th place on the NHL career list.

"For us it was a huge game," Jagr said. "It doesn't matter if you win 1-0 or 6-5. We need to win a lot of games to make the playoffs."

Joni Pitkanen scored for the Flyers, who extended their franchise-record home losing streak to 10 games. They have won only three home games, a league low, and have not won at home since Nov. 24 when they beat Columbus, 3-2, in former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock's debut with the Blue Jackets.

New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves while picking up his 20th win.

New York coach Tom Renney said he was pleased with the entire team's effort, especially Jagr's performance.

"He (Jagr) was great," Renney said. "He battled every inch of ice tonight. He certainly was the leader that we need at this point in time. I thought he played a terrific game amongst others. I don't know that there's a player we can single out tonight that didn't show up."

Philadelphia's Robert Esche, who made his first start in goal since a 6-2 loss at Washington on Jan. 9, had 33 saves. He was especially sharp in the first period when he stopped all 17 Rangers shots - including back-to-back saves on Jed Ortmeyer and Daniel Girardi - and thwarted the Rangers' five power plays.

Esche said that he came very close to stopping Krog's winning goal.

"It came at me out of the corner and it bounced off a few things," Esche explained. "I almost got over in time but I think there was about a puck's space . . . and it happened to go through."

Despite the loss, Flyers coach John Stevens praised Esche for a "terrific" performance, especially in helping stop New York's power plays.

"I thought he stood tall," said Stevens. "He made some key saves. He was aggressive helping with the puck. I thought he played a heck of a hockey game."

Jagr put the Rangers ahead 56 seconds into the second period when he redirected Karel Rachunek's shot from near the right boards. The Flyers tied it 1-1 at 3:24 of the period when Joni Pitkanen scored on a one-timer from the right of the crease after taking a cross-ice pass from Mike Knuble.

Notes: Peter Forsberg picked up his 602nd career assist on Pitkanen's goal, moving him into a tie with Kirk Muller for 68th place on the NHL's career list. . . . Rangers RWs Jason Ward and Colton Orr and D Thomas Pock were healthy scratches. . . . Jagr hit the right post midway through the third period. . . . Flyers D Randy Jones suffered a separated right shoulder in the third period.

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Jason Krog scores winner in third to lead Rangers past Flyers 2-1