for this game

Prucha scores twice as Rangers end slide

Dec 31, 2006 - 5:39 AM
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Petr Prucha and the New York Rangers were prepared to end a pair of dubious streaks.

Prucha halted New York's scoreless stretch early in the first period and netted a power-play goal late in the third that gave the Rangers their first win since December 14, a 4-1 triumph over the Washington Capitals.

The two-goal effort was the first of the season for Prucha, who scored New York's first goal in 153 minutes, 37 seconds at 1:55 of the opening period. The Rangers had not tallied since 8:17 of the second session against Tampa Bay on December 23, getting shut out in each of their previous two games.

Prucha's performance was integral in New York's attempt to halt its seven-game losing streak. The Rangers had not dropped eight in a row since March 7-23, 1991.

"The last two games before this one, we played really good," New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "We created scoring chances, we played well in our zone. We knew we didn't have to change too much. ... We just had to be patient and keep working hard."

Michael Nylander made it 2-0 later in the first and defenseman Darius Kasparaitis scored a rare goal late in the middle session. Prucha expanded the lead to four with 2:37 remaining in the third period of a contest that saw plenty of rough play.

Donald Brashear was throwing around his weight for much of the game until Colton Orr answered the challenge late in the second, dropping the gloves and a decision to the Capitals' tough guy.

One of the league's best fighters, Brashear battled power forward Brendan Shanahan 7 1/2 minutes into the third and, after the tussle, sucker-punched defenseman Aaron Ward as he was skating toward the tunnel leading to the locker room.

"Brash got slew-footed and they got a penalty for it. The one shift, they sent Orr out to fight, and the next shift Shanahan," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "I don't think Shanahan was sent to fight, but he took it upon himself. Brash must have made him mad about something."

"I think it means more to (my teammates) that I went after their tough guy," Shanahan said. "I don't know if it means an awful lot. I didn't put too much thought into it. ... It's been several months since I had one of those. I'm a little out of practice, but it's still fun when you're in them."

Two teammates who was impressed with Shanahan's actions were Ward and Kasparaitis.

"He's a fiery Irish Catholic, and that's his nature," Ward said. "He sticks up for his teammates, and if he feels if someone has been wronged, then he says something about it."

"You can see a Hall of Fame guy steps up and protects one of our leaders," Kasparaitis added. "It just shows you how big of a leader he is and it just makes us play even harder when you see a guy like that dropping his gloves. It just makes us very proud of him and proud to be his teammate."

Rangers coach Tom Renney confirmed Hanlon's statement regarding Shanahan.

"He took it upon himself," Renney said. "When your leaders do things like that, clearly it demonstrates that they're willing to pay any price to win."

"It's great to see," Rangers superstar Jaromir Jagr added. "He's not only about big goals, he protects his players."

Shanahan did, in fact, have a reason for taking on Brashear.

"I think the opportunity presented itself with some of the things he did to Jaromir throughout the game," Shanahan said. "I don't have a problem with him or playing physically. I went to the faceoff, asked him to fight and he did.

"I don't think he thought I was serious. At the beginning, he gave me a chance to back out of it, but I told him, 'No.' When I came back to the bench, I said to the guys that he didn't pick that one with me, I'm the one who instigated that one."

Several more scrums occurred later in the period, with Orr and blue-liner Shaone Morrisonn engaging in a fight with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

"If you want to play physical, we're going to play physical," Morrisonn said. "It's a physical game out there. You're heated in the battle and that's just what happens. It's part of the game."

Martin Straka and defenseman Karel Rachunek each had two assists and Nylander also set up a goal for the Rangers, who have won five straight home meetings with the Capitals.

Ben Clymer tallied for Washington, which has dropped four in a row and six of seven.

"We can't score right now," said Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, who leads the league with 25 goals. "I don't know what's happened, but we can't score right now. ... We have to do something, and I think we don't have luck, too. I have a nice shot but can't score the goals."

After stopping Rachunek's shot, goaltender Olaf Kolzig could not control the rebound. Prucha dug it out from in front and slid the puck into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Nylander converted a pass by Straka from behind the net with 6:35 to go in the first before Kasparaitis netted his second goal of the season with 48 seconds left in the second. Pinching from the point, the hard-hitting Lithuanian fired a shot from low in the right faceoff circle past Kolzig for a 3-0 lead.

"We've been working on me jumping into the play in practice," Kasparaitis said. "Today, it was just the right timing. I tried to shoot top shelf and it worked out good."

Prucha cashed in during a power play just eight seconds before Clymer spoiled Lundqvist's shutout bid with 2:29 remaining in the third.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 1
    NY RANGERS 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - PETR PRUCHA 7 (KAREL RACHUNEK, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 1:55
    NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 13 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    13:25
    2ND PRD: NYR - DARIUS KASPARAITIS 2 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA)
    19:12
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP

    Dec 30 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - BEN CLYMER 4 (LAWRENCE NYCHOLAT) 17:31

    Capitals vs. RangersDec 30 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) PETR PRUCHA 8 (ADAM HALL, KAREL RACHUNEK) 17:23

    Capitals vs. RangersDec 30 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - PETR PRUCHA 7 (KAREL RACHUNEK, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 1:55
    NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 13 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    13:25
    2ND PRD: NYR - DARIUS KASPARAITIS 2 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA)
    19:12
    MISSE

    Dec 30 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYR - DARIUS KASPARAITIS 2 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA)
    19:12

    Capitals vs. RangersDec 30 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    NY RANGERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - PETR PRUCHA 7 (KAREL RACHUNEK, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 1:55
    NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 13 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    13:25
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 5

    Dec 30 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 13 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL)
    13:25

    Capitals vs. RangersDec 30 7:34 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - PETR PRUCHA 7 (KAREL RACHUNEK, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 1:55

    Capitals vs. RangersDec 30 7:13 PM