So if Marc Staal had been scratched across the chin with a high stick that drew even a trickle of blood, the perp would have received a four-minute double minor.

But when Braydon Coburn merely broke Staal's nose with a high stick at 19:26 of the first period, the Flyers' defenseman was assessed a two-minute minor.

"It seemed a little odd to me, so I asked about it," said Staal, who was gargantuan, blocking three shots, throwing three hits and adding an assist in 34:01 in the Rangers' 3-2 shootout triumph over the Flyers yesterday. "I was told that was the rule."

That's not quite how Rule 60.3 reads, for in fact a high stick causing an injury (a broken nose qualifies) is grounds for a double minor, but the Rangers aren't griping.

For the minor to Coburn, 1:06 after teammate Matt Carle was called for hooking Ryan Callahan, gave the Blueshirts a 54-second five-on-three. They capitalized when Bryan McCabe's howitzer from 45 feet beat Sergei Bobrovsky over the left shoulder with seven-tenths of a second to go in the period to send his team into intermission at 1-1.