Avery's act is Broadway hit
Sean Avery shook up the Philadelphia Flyers with his grit and his gift of gab. And just when they had enough of that, he beat them with his stick.
With a national TV spotlight on him, and a fired-up home crowd adoring his every agitating move, Avery scored two power-play goals and drew a pair of penalties to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Flyers yesterday.
"He gets the puck, and five guys on their team want to kill him," linemate Scott Gomez said.
Avery has scored in three straight games and has four goals in that stretch. As it was during his first stint with the Rangers, before he was banished by the Dallas Stars for crude public comments, New York performs better with him in the lineup (4-2).
New York, which began the day eighth in the Eastern Conference, moved within four points of fourth-place Philadelphia.
Red Wings 4, Blue Jackets 0 - Chris Osgood made 23 saves for his 49th career shutout, and visiting Detroit (101 points) beat Columbus to move two points ahead of the Bruins in the race for first place overall and become the first team in NHL history to top 100 points in nine straight seasons.
Sharks 1, Ducks 0 - Evgeni Nabokov made 34 saves for his sixth shutout of the season for San Jose (100 points), and former Duck Travis Moen scored in his return to Anaheim.
Islanders 4, Blackhawks 2 - Peter Mannino made 40 saves in his first NHL start and Mark Streit had two power-play goals and an assist, leading visiting New York.
Blues 5, Wild 3 - Keith Tkachuk and David Perron scored on a two-man advantage and host St. Louis held off Minnesota.
Canucks 4, Avalanche 2 - Ryan Kesler set up three goals for host Vancouver.