Tarasenko scores winner in OT, leads Rangers past Flyers 3-2

Vladimir Tarasenko scored the winner 2:32 into overtime, and had assists on goals by Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider to lead the New York Rangers past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Wednesday night.

The Rangers won their final game before Patrick Kane, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, makes his debut for the team on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson wore a No. 88 Kane jersey into MSG before Wednesday’s game against Brooklyn. The Rangers could have sold a few more in Philly -- Blueshirts took over the lower bowl of the Wells Fargo Center and had a healthy and vocal presence overall inside the arena.

Flyers fans were thwarted in their attempt to drown out the "Let's Go Rangers!" chants that echoed throughout the arena. Rangers fans erupted when Kreider tied the score with 9:27 left in the game.

Wait until they get to cheer for Kane.

The arrival of the three-time Stanley Cup champion boosted the Rangers to immediate Stanley Cup contender status.

"I think everyone in this room believes it is possible," Rangers forward Tyler Motte said before the game.

Owen Tippett and Scott Laughton scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart had 22 saves.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 shots for the Rangers.

Motte briefly played with Kane in Chicago but it’s another Blackhawks transplant in New York that truly made the trade exciting for the Rangers. The 34-year-old Kane was reunited with former teammate Artemi Panarin. Kane enjoyed playing with Panarin for two seasons at the beginning of the Russian forward's NHL career, one reason why the newest Ranger waived the no-movement clause in his contract.

The Rangers already made one splash before the deadline when it acquired Tarasenko from St. Louis last month. He pounded the winner past Hart midway through OT.

"I think it just goes to show the belief that, not only the guys in this room, but the organization has in us," Motte said. "It gives us all a lot of confidence for the push for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Adding big names is going to open some eyes. I think it just continues to build the confidence in the room."

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said of the mood in the locker room now, "it definitely feels different."

The Flyers are well out of the playoff race and will be sellers leading into Friday’s deadline. Philadelphia, though, did not hold out any players as a precaution -- and as a precursor to a potential deal.

Flyers coach John Tortorella has cautioned it could take years before the team is a contender again and willing to deal for big names at the deadline.

"If we go through this process the proper way, we’ll get there," Tortorella said. "We’ll be one of those teams looking to add."


Kane scored the biggest goal of his NHL career in Philly, an overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, ending Chicago’s 49-year title drought.


Rangers: Host Ottawa on Thursday night.