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Rangers fend off Flyers, hold on to seventh place

PHILADELPHIA -- Jaromir Jagr found it tough to concentrate
after the New York Rangers took big leads twice against the
last-place Philadelphia Flyers.

Jagr had two goals and an assist, and the Rangers chased goalie
Martin Biron and beat the Flyers 6-4 on Saturday night.

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"We had to win this game to stay in the hunt for the
playoffs," Jagr said. "We play probably the most important game
of the season [Sunday against Toronto]. When you have a three-goal
lead, you're already thinking, 'Let's play smart and save some
energy.' It doesn't work that way. You get them back in the game."

Thomas Pock, Martin Straka and Petr Prucha, each had a goal and
an assist, and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who won
for the sixth time in seven games and held on to seventh place in
the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers led 5-2 and 6-3 but had to hold on.

"I was, honestly I was," Jagr said about struggling to keep
his focus. "You don't want to fly up and down, maybe [Sunday]
you're going to miss it. It would be a different story if the game
would be tied but we had the lead. We didn't play good enough."

Ben Eager had two goals, and Braydon Coburn and Ryan Potulny
added one each for the Flyers, who have dropped two straight and
six of seven. Nathan Guenin had two assists for his first NHL
points.

Biron, 5-7-1 since being acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 27, was
replaced by Antero Niittymaki at 7:15 of the second period after he
allowed goals to Jagr and Straka within a minute to give the
Rangers a 5-2 lead.

"It's tough to get a guy like Jagr, who's pretty big, off the
puck," Biron said. "Their guys were doing a good job of cycling.
They showed some great patience and that created a lot of
situations where they didn't have to make that 45-foot pass."

Biron stopped only 17 of 22 shots. Henrik Lundqvist had 33 saves
for the Rangers.

Rangers coach Tom Renney said it was good to see the his team
create offense. New York had a five-game winning streak snapped
Tuesday at Montreal.

"At this time of the year, it's not so much what you take, it's
what you leave," Renney said. "And I thought we left Philadelphia
a little too much. Had we not had six [goals], obviously this could
have been a different outcome.

"Philadelphia played hard and took advantage of our turnovers
and our unwillingness to engage. They certainly made a game of it
and we have to be better than that [Sunday]."

Jagr scored his second of the game when he snapped a wrist shot
over Biron's blocker. Straka scored from the left side after taking
a cross-ice pass from defenseman Marek Malik.

After Coburn picked up a loose puck and scored on a one-timer,
Prucha made it 6-3 on a power play with 50 seconds left in the
second period. Potulny scored on a deflection at 1:59 of the third.

"The Rangers are an opportunistic team that capitalizes on
their opportunities when they get them," Flyers coach John Stevens
said. "We had some good flurries early and then we didn't and they
did."

Pock and Jagr each had a goal and an assist in the first period
as the Rangers took a 3-1 lead.

Pock put the Rangers ahead at 3:32 when he scored on a wrist
shot from the top of the left circle.

Eager tied it 24 seconds later when he picked up a loose puck
near the right boards, skated in and shoveled in his own rebound.

New York regained control at 5:52 when Callahan scored on a
rebound.

The Rangers increased their lead to 3-1 at 11:59 when Jagr
skated into the slot. He appeared to momentarily lose control of
the puck, but reached out and slid it past Biron, who allowed three
goals on only eight shots.

Eager brought the Flyers to within 3-2 at 4:00 of the second
period when his shot from the left side bounced off the stick of
New York's Ryan Hollweg.

"It happens," Lundqvist said. "I'm kind of used to it now.
It's happened a lot this year. We kept battling even though they
got some weird goals, rebounds, and deflections."

Game notes
The Rangers won the season series 6-2. ... D Pock has six
points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the last seven games. ... Biron
denied LW Brad Isbister's short-handed breakaway attempt midway
through the first period. ... Niittymaki played in his 100th NHL
game. ... RW Jagr, C Straka, and LW Brendan Shanahan each have a
team-high 28 goals for the Rangers. ... Flyers D Derian Hatcher
sustained a hip flexor injury in the first period that got worse.
He sat out the third period.