for this game

Cullen's second goal of game extends Rangers' winning streak

Jan 7, 2007 - 12:37 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Matt Cullen opened the scoring. Luckily for the New York Rangers, he also closed it.

Cullen scored his second goal of the game with 6:05 remaining in the third period, snapping a tie and lifting the Rangers to a 4-3 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens.

The victory was the fourth in a row for New York, which had dropped seven straight prior to its run. It also halted a five-game home winning streak for the Canadiens, who fell to 11-4-1 in their last 16 at Bell Centre.

Michal Rozsival ended a 12-game drought with a power-play goal 38 seconds into the third period, giving the Rangers a 3-2 edge. However, fellow defenseman Sheldon Souray continued his success with the man advantage, netting his 14th tally of the season and 11th with the extra skater at 8:40 to again knot the contest.

The goal tied the franchise record for most on the power play by a defenseman, set by Guy Lapointe in 1974-75 and matched by Mathieu Schneider (1993-94) and Patrice Brisebois (2000-01). Souray is seven man-advantage tallies away from the NHL record for blue-liners shared by Hall of Famer Denis Potvin (1974-75) and Adrian Aucoin (1998-99).

Just over five minutes later, Brendan Shanahan tracked down the puck in the right corner and dished to Cullen, whose wrist shot from the faceoff circle beat goaltender David Aebischer for a 4-3 lead.

"I just got it and shot it," Cullen said. "It was a reaction more than anything. I didn't really say, 'I'm going high.'"

It was the second two-goal game of the season and eighth career for Cullen, who had been held without a tally in his previous eight contests.

"It's been tough sledding personally," Cullen said. "It's nice to get back on the scoresheet and hopefully get things going in the right direction."

Martin Straka had a goal and an assist and Michael Nylander set up two tallies for the Rangers, who played the third period without superstar Jaromir Jagr due to a groin injury.

"It was a mild groin tweak," New York coach Tom Renney said. "It was an obvious precautionary move. He's a pretty valuable guy to us. I saw him at the end of the bench in the first, flexing it a little bit and pushing down on it. He had some work done on it and felt he was ready to go in the second, but it was just too much of a risk."

Defenseman Mark Streit and Tomas Plekanec tallied for Montreal, which has dropped four of five and been ravaged by the flu.

"We wanted that win. It would have been pretty nice, considering how the team feels," said Canadiens center Chris Higgins, whose team was without captain Saku Koivu, rookie Guillaume Latendresse and tough guy Aaron Downey due to illness. "Our captain was out, so still not too bad (an effort) but not hard enough for the win, and that shows on the scoreboard."

"The flu has been about 24 hours," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau added. "The guys that were sick yesterday felt fine after that. Guillaume was here, but I decided to send him home so he'd feel better for tomorrow's game."

Shanahan understands what the Canadiens are going through.

"We were sick and depleted a couple of weeks ago and we went on a seven-game losing streak and teams didn't really feel sorry for us," he said. "I guess you can feel sorry for them, but at the same time, you try to take advantage of them."

The game was the 400th played at Bell Centre, which opened as the Molson Centre on March 16, 1996.

Cullen sneaked between defensemen Francis Bouillon and Craig Rivet and beat Aebischer at 10:20 of the first period, giving New York a 1-0 lead.

Straka doubled the advantage with a one-timer from the right point that went high to the stick side at 6:36 of the second for a power-play tally. However, the Canadiens rallied to tie it as Streit and Plekanec scored man-advantage goals 3:49 apart midway through the period.

"We were very good to start the game and I think we showed them a bit too much respect, and then we got into the penalty problems," Renney said. "As advertised, their power play is pretty good and they were able to create some momentum from that."

"Our second half of the game was a lot better and we competed," Montreal's Michael Ryder said. "We have to make sure that every night, we compete because we know teams are going to be ready for us, and tonight, we just weren't ready."

Plekanec's tally, which came on the rebound of his own shot from the left side of the net, was his third in as many games.

Rozsival put the Rangers back in front with a one-timer from well above the slot. But moments after Henrik Lundqvist denied Sergei Samsonov, Souray fired a slap shot past the netminder from the left circle to forge a 3-3 tie.

"Their power play kept them in the game," Lundqvist said of Montreal, which went 3-for-5 with the man advantage. "I think we managed them really well 5-on-5. We were the better team."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 4
    MONTREAL 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 8 (FEDOR TYUTIN, AARON WARD) 10:20
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) MARTIN STRAKA 22 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, MICHAL
    ROZSIVAL) 6:36
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (CRAIG RIVET, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 7:25
    MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC

    Jan 6 5:33 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 4
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 9 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, MAREK MALIK) 13:55

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 5:19 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 3
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 14 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ANDREI MARKOV)
    8:40

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 5:08 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 3
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 5 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAEL
    NYLANDER) 0:38

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 4:53 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2
    MONTREAL 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 8 (FEDOR TYUTIN, AARON WARD) 10:20
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) MARTIN STRAKA 22 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, MICHAL
    ROZSIVAL) 6:36
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (CRAIG RIVET, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 7:25
    MON - (PP) T

    Jan 6 4:33 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 6 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, ANDREI MARKOV)
    14:16

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 4:23 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (CRAIG RIVET, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 7:25

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 4:17 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    MONTREAL 0
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) MARTIN STRAKA 22 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, MICHAL
    ROZSIVAL) 6:36

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 4:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 8 (FEDOR TYUTIN, AARON WARD) 10:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 11 11
    MON 3 3
    GOALIES: NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST
    MON

    Jan 6 3:42 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: NYR - MATT CULLEN 8 (FEDOR TYUTIN, AARON WARD) 10:20

    Rangers vs. CanadiensJan 6 3:26 PM