Richter, Rangers Settle For Tie

This time, Mike Richter got the best of it against "the Beezer."
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  • Richter, benched earlier this season, stopped 35 shots as New York held Eric Lindros without a goal for the first time in five games in a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

    Ex-Rangers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, who shut out his former team 1-0 in the season opener, allowed two goals for the first time this season despite facing only 13 shots. He had a much easier time than Richter, but ended up with the same result.

    "He was the deciding factor in the game, no doubt," Vanbiesbrouck said.

    Richter improved to 2-0-2 since being pulled in New York's 4-2 loss to St. Louis on Oct. 12 after he allowed three goals on three shots by Al MacInnis. On Saturday, Richter preserved the tie during a flurry of shots late in the third period, and turned aside two hard shots by John LeClair in overtime.

    "There's not a lot of leeway right now for our team," said Richter, who re-signed with the Rangers during the off-season while the Flyers signed Vanbiesbrouck. "At this point in my career, I feel like my system of playing and my plan for how I approach the game is better than it's ever been."

    New York remained unbeaten in its last four games after starting the season 0-4. But the Rangers managed only two shots in the first period and one in the third, when the Flyers tied it with goals by LeClair and Rod Brind'Amour. Lindros, who had scored in five consecutive games, had only one shot.

    Wayne Gretzky was tangled up repeatedly by the tight-checking Flyers, but got away long enough to set up Adam Graves' goal in the second period -- the 2,02nd point of his career.

    "I've seen the Flyers for 20 years," Gretzky said. "So they have always been the same way -- big and strong, and they play aggressive. That is their tradition and history, and that is not going to change much."

    Flyers defenseman Dan McGillis was called for interference with 30 seconds left in OT, giving the Rangers a power play they couldn't capitalize on. The penalty came just as the Flyers were putting one last burst of pressure on Richter.

    "It is a bad time for the referee to miss a call with us having them on the ropes," Flyers coach Roger Neilson said.

    The Rangers took a 2-0 lead on goals by John MacLean and Graves despite taking only 10 shots through two periods.

    LeClair cut it to 2-1 his fifth goal, beating Richter on Mike Maneluk's pass from behind the net at 5:34.

    With Ulf Samuelsson in the penalty box for playing with a broken stick, Brind'Amour tied it with a one-timer off a beautiful pass through the crease from McGillis at 9:03.

    "I fired the puck through there pretty quick," McGillis said. "He was only open for a brief second."

    A mistake by McGillis led to MacLean's goal 11 minutes into the first. McGillis lost the puck along the boards near the blue line, and MacLean got control just as Chris Therien skated off for a shift change. Skating in with Esa Tikkanen, MacLean beat Vanbiesbrouck for a 1-0 lead.

    Samuelsson clearly was a marked man after sucker-punching Philadelphia's Petr Svoboda in the Flyers' season-opening 1-0 victory at Madison Square Garden. Lindros gave Samuelsson two clean, solid hits, and LeClair drove him hard into the boards as they chased a loose puck.

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