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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Flyers 1

1/29/2013

What it means: The Rangers white-knuckled their way through the third period to hold onto a 2-1 win over the Flyers and reach the .500 mark at 3-3-0 for the season, but the win was tarnished by what appeared to be a significant injury to captain Ryan Callahan.

Yikes: One period after tallying his second goal of the season, Callahan appeared to suffer an injury during a fight with Max Talbot at 4:42 of the third. The two dropped the gloves in a short-lived scrap that ended with Callahan skating off the ice hunched over favoring his left shoulder. Callahan went right to the trainer’s room and did not return to the game.

Third-period rally: Not long after Callahan left the ice, the Flyers cut the Rangers' lead in half, 2-1, on Kimmo Timonen's goal from the high slot at 7:09. With a crowded puck battle along the boards, Timonen was left all alone in front, prompting a livid John Tortorella to unleash his fury on the Rangers' bench.

Big kill: With Brad Richards in the box for holding and Derek Stepan whistled for delay of game, the Rangers were down two men for 1:17 in the second period. The PK unit gave the team a huge boost, thwarting the Flyers power-play unit. Fourth-line center Jeff Halpern led the way, killing the penalty without a stick for much of the time. Once out of the box, Richards also made a great hustle play, diving to swipe the puck out of the zone as Stepan’s penalty expired.

Special teams: Entering Tuesday’s game with an abysmal 2-for-22 success rate on the power play, the Rangers converted on their second man-up opportunity against the Flyers. Carrying over the momentum from a huge penalty kill, Callahan notched his second goal of the season to give the team a 2-0 lead at 11:31 of the second.

Chipping in offensively: With his second goal in as many games, 22-year-old defenseman Michael Del Zotto opened scoring for the Rangers with a blast from the blue line that beat a screened Ilya Bryzgalov 1:57 into play. Just hours before the game, coach John Tortorella praised Del Zotto, whose biggest strength, he said, is “joining the rush.” Del Zotto, who led the Rangers defensemen in scoring, is on pace to do it again with five points through six games.

Kreider MIA: Rangers forward Chris Kreider sat out his third straight game, second due to injury (ankle). When he will return to the lineup remains unclear. Tortorella said he has “no idea” when the 21-year-old winger will begin skating again.

Up next: Rangers vs. Penguins, Thursday at 7 p.m.