The NHL has become a league in which offense no longer can be relegated to the forwards. Just ask Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who didn’t even hesitate after Monday night’s comeback 4-3 overtime win over the Coyotes to make what now is a common declaration.

“If you’re going to score in this league, you need your back end,” he said, just minutes after he got consecutive goals from Dan Girardi, tying the game late in the third period, and Ryan McDonagh, winning it in the extra period.

“You need your back end to support the attack, and to break out clean out of your zone and help out on the rush,” Vigneault said. “Both McDonagh and Girardi were at the right spots at the right time.”
That would be something the Rangers would love to repeat come Wednesday night, when the Flyers come to the Garden in an important Metropolitan Division matchup. On the same night the Rangers came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to beat Phoenix and bank their fourth win in a row, the Flyers fought back from a 2-0 hole of their own to tie the visiting Kings — only to lose it on a third-period goal from Dwight King.

So although Philadelphia comes up the Jersey Turnpike with two games in hand on the Blueshirts — the Rangers with nine games remaining, the Flyers with 11 — Vigneault’s team still holds a one-point lead for second place in the division. As the Rangers prepare to take off on a four-game trip through Western Canada, starting Friday in Calgary, the home-ice implications to Wednesday’s game — along with some breathing room in the race for any postseason spot — are weighing heavily on both teams.