Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 5)

Philadelphia leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, December 5th
Rangers2Final
OT
Flyers3
Game 2: Sunday, January 19th
Flyers4Final
Rangers2
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Rangers1Final
Flyers2
Game 4: Friday, March 7th
Flyers1Final
Rangers5
Game 5: Saturday, March 22nd
Rangers2Final
Flyers1

Rangers 2

(12-12-1, 29 pts)

Flyers 3

(12-6-1, 31 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 5, 2002

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
NYR 0 2 0 02
PHI 0 2 0 13

M. Handzus (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

E. Lindros (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Roenick (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Handzus makes history with OT goal on penalty shot

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michal Handzus' penalty-shot goal in overtime not only was a new experience for him, but an NHL rarity as well.

Bobby Holik

The Rangers must turn things around before the New York fans turn on them.

Handzus became the second player in NHL history to score an overtime goal on a penalty shot when he beat New York's Dan Blackburn with 36.7 seconds left in overtime Thursday night in the Philadelphia Flyers' 3-2 victory over the Rangers.

"Back home we don't play overtime, so it was a first,'' said Handzus, who grew up in Slovakia and came to the Flyers last summer as part of the deal that sent goaltender Brian Boucher to Phoenix.

Handzus, who was taken down from behind by defenseman Tom Poti, faked a forehand shot, then went to his backhand before lifting a shot over Blackburn's left pad.

"I talked to Roman Cechmanek and he told me to try to fake it and go to the backhand and shoot high, so I figured I had to listen to the goalie,'' Handzus said.

Handzus, a fifth-year NHL player, thought referee Kevin Pollock made the right call.

"I think I had a breakaway and he hooked me on the arm, so I lost my balance,'' Handzus said.

Poti disagreed.

"I have no idea why he called the penalty shot,'' Poti said. "Supposedly, you have to be in the clear and get pulled down, but I was right next to him.''

Handzus joined Nashville's David Legwand as the only players to score with an overtime penalty shot. Legwand also beat the Rangers on Dec. 23, 2000, in New York. That goal was scored against backup goalie Kirk McLean.

Both Blackburn and McLean were filling in for regular Rangers goalie Mike Richter, who has only allowed one penalty-shot goal in 13 attempts. Blackburn, 19, also gave up a penalty-shot goal to San Jose's Patrick Marleau on Nov. 11.

Former Flyers captain Eric Lindros scored his fifth goal in six games late in the second period to pull the Rangers into a 2-2 tie.

Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist and Jeremy Roenick scored the other goal for the Flyers, who snapped a six game home winless streak (0-3-3) and moved into a first place tie with New Jersey in the Atlantic Division.

Bobby Holik scored the other New York goal, and Matthew Barnaby had two assists for the Rangers, who had their three game unbeaten string (2-0-1) snapped.

Cechmanek kept the Flyers in the game with a spectacular sprawling glove save on Petr Nedved, who took a feed on a 2-on-1 rush with Pavel Bure seconds before Handzus' goal.

Blackburn, making his 14th straight start since Richter went down with a concussion, had 28 saves in dropping his third straight decision to the Flyers.

Recchi put the Flyers ahead 1-0 on a power play at 2:02 of the second period with a wrist shot that trickled through Blackburn's knees. It was his first goal in 11 games.

Holik, who returned to the lineup after missing 18 games with a hip flexor injury, tied it at 7:40 of the period by hammering a rebound of a shot by Barnaby past Cechmanek.

Roenick made it 2-1 with an off-balance slap shot at 15:32, but Lindros pulled the Rangers even with 2:00 left in the period by ripping a shot from the right point past Cechmanek's glove side. Lindros has six goals in six games against his former team including a hat trick last season, his first with the Rangers.

Game notes


New York D Brian Leetch missed the game after bruising his left ankle Tuesday night against Columbus. ... Philadelphia D Eric Desjardins was out with a sore back. ... The Flyers have won their last six games against the Rangers at home. ... Recchi, who also had an assist, has 515 points with Philadelphia, moving him past Reggie Leach for 10th place on the Flyers' career list. ... Kim Johnsson, acquired by Philadelphia in the Lindros trade, assisted on Recchi's goal for his 100th NHL point. ... The Flyers are the only team still undefeated when scoring first (9-0-5). ... It was the third straight overtime game for the Flyers, who split the previous two against Montreal and New Jersey.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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