Jagr scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period,
leading the New York Rangers to a 5-3 victory over the Flyers on
Wednesday night as the NHL returned after a lockout canceled the
"He's a great leader and he was the difference," Rangers
defenseman Darius Kasparaitis said of Jagr, who was frustrated over
being called for two penalties in the first two periods.
Forsberg had two assists in his first game with the Flyers after
leaving Colorado, where he helped lead the Avalanche to two Stanley
"They outplayed us heavily in the third period," Forsberg
With Forsberg in the penalty box for tripping, the Rangers went
ahead 4-3 on Jagr's second goal with 8:34 remaining. Jagr wristed a
shot from inside the right faceoff circle past goaltender Robert
"If they let me shoot, they let me shoot. That's fine with
me," Jagr said. "They covered everybody else. I'll take it any
Hossa gave the Rangers a two-goal lead 33 seconds later,
stunning a sellout crowd of 19,821 fans that turned out to see the
Philadelphia general manager Bob Clarke quickly revamped the
roster once the lockout ended, putting together a team that came in
as a strong favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
The Flyers added Forsberg, Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje while
letting go veterans John LeClair, Mark Recchi, Jeremy Roenick and
Tony Amonte. They also brought up highly touted rookies Jeff Carter
and Richards from the AHL champion Philadelphia Phantoms.
But the Rangers weren't intimidated.
New York tied it at 3 on Jagr's first power-play goal early in
the third. Just 13 seconds into the man-advantage, Jagr snapped a
wrist shot past Esche.
"We just have to learn to play from the net out defensively
instead of worrying so much about offense," Esche said.
Lundmark's goal following an errant clearing pass by Carter in
the second period cut it to 3-2.
Forsberg, the 2002-03 NHL MVP and arguably the best player in
the league, showed off his impeccable passing skills with a pair of
assists in the opening 15 minutes.
Forsberg picked up a loose puck after New York's Jed Ortmeyer
turned it over, skated down the left side and slipped a pass to
Gagne, who one-timed a shot inside the right post to tie it.
The Flyers capitalized on a two-man advantage to take a 2-1 lead
2:15 later. With Jagr and Kasparaitis in the penalty box, Eric
Desjardins sent a pass into the right faceoff circle to Forsberg,
who fed it to Knuble in the slot. Knuble one-timed a shot past
goalie Kevin Weekes for his first goal since joining the Flyers
after spending the last four-plus seasons with Boston.
Richards made it 3-1 in the second period with a hard-fought
goal. Richards took an outlet pass from Desjardins, outmuscled
defenseman Fedor Tyutin and lifted a shot over Weekes' left
Esche stoned Michael Nylander on a penalty shot after Forsberg
pulled him down on a breakaway in the second period.
Strudwick gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead midway through the first.
He slapped a shot from just inside the blue line that took a tricky
bounce off the ice and went past Esche.
There was no lingering resentment over the lockout in Philly.
Known for their loyalty and devotion to the Flyers in a city that's
notoriously tough on its teams, orange-clad fans filled the
Wachovia Center and welcomed back the defending Atlantic Division
champions with rousing ovations and familiar chants of "Let's Go
They roared when Forsberg was introduced during an electrifying
pregame ceremony that included a video montage reflected off the
And they taunted Jagr and cheered loudly -- no surprise -- when
Donald Brashear sent the perennial All-Star to the ice with a hard
check in the first period.
Midway through the third, the first boos were heard after New
York tied it up and controlled play for several minutes. The boos
grew louder after the Rangers took the lead.
"I would've booed, too," Forsberg said.<
^Notes@: Hatcher sat out the first game of a three-game suspension
for elbowing Calgary's Matthew Lombardi in the head during the 2004
playoffs when he played for Detroit. ... The Flyers were 1-for-10
on the power play, including three two-man advantages. ... It was
the first time the Flyers and Rangers played a season opener in
Philadelphia. ... The Rangers host Montreal on Thursday night. ...
New York was 2-36-1 when trailing after two periods in the 2003-04