NEW YORK – Carl Hagelin’s contribution to the New York Rangers’ playoff-opening win was etched all over his busted-up mouth.
Some efforts don’t directly show up on the score sheet.
Hagelin took a high stick from Philadelphia’s Jason Akeson with 7:35 left, and had his mouth cut open. That gave the Rangers a four-minute power play, and they made the most of it.
Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored 47 seconds apart, and the Rangers beat the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night to stretch their home-winning streak over rival Philadelphia to nine games.
He got me pretty good, but I will take that, Hagelin said with a smile through his injured mouth. Anytime that happens, you’re ready to take one for the team, especially on a day like this when it’s tied.
Hagelin said the double penalty was called when the referee saw he was bleeding a lot. No stitches were required to close the wound.
The effect on Akeson remains to be seen. The 23-year-old forward was called up for the Flyers’ final game of the regular season for the second straight year. He has played in only three career NHL games.
I went to hit him, and my back leg swung out and my stick came up, Akeson said. It was unfortunate. It’s not like I went out there trying to take a four-minute penalty. It was a sick feeling watching them score.
Richards gave the Rangers their first lead when a rebound of Martin St. Louis’ shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22.
Richards and St. Louis hooked up again to help set up Stepan’s insurance goal.