for this game

Nylander, Jagr lead Rangers to first playoff win since 1997

Apr 13, 2007 - 3:39 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- They waited 10 years, but the New York Rangers finally got another playoff victory.

Michael Nylander had a goal and two assists and Jaromir Jagr scored a tally and set up another as the Rangers opened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Atlanta Thrashers with a 4-3 triumph.

Defenseman Fedor Tyutin also recorded a pair of assists for New York, which will look to take a two-games-to-none lead Saturday afternoon at Philips Arena.

"We really tried to control the game by controlling ourselves," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "Blocking shots, getting pucks out, getting pucks in. That really is our way of managing the game."

Since posting a 5-4 win at Philadelphia in Game Two of the conference finals on May 18, 1997, the Rangers failed to qualify for the postseason seven straight times before being swept by the New Jersey Devils in the quarterfinals last year.

"Maybe it's something for the media to write about, but we don't have the same players from 10 years ago," Jagr said. "The old guys are retired."

Participating in the first NHL playoff game in Atlanta since April 12, 1980, when it eliminated the Flames in the preliminary round, New York never trailed as Jagr and defenseman Michal Rozsival scored four minutes apart in the latter half of the first period for a 2-0 lead.

"I wasn't happy the way we started," said Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 34 shots. "They were outshooting us by a lot."

Returning from a knee injury, Marcel Hossa tallied midway through the second to stake the Rangers to a 3-1 advantage, and Nylander - who helped set up Hossa's first career playoff goal - answered Atlanta blue-liner Shane Hnidy's tally with one of his own with three minutes to go in the session.

Former Ranger Pascal Dupuis again drew the Thrashers within one 5:50 into the third, but the Rangers withstood late pressure to grab the lead in the series.

"I just want to make sure we play the same way we played our last 20 games," Jagr said. "We played a lot of (playoff-type) games lately."

Dupuis added an assist and Brad Larsen set up two tallies for Atlanta, which is making its first playoff appearance since joining the league in 1999-2000.

"Maybe we were a little nervous out there, but we made a few adjustments," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "But now we have one game under our belt and it's important that we keep going on what we built during the third period. ... We didn't play our game the first two periods because we couldn't generate our flow."

A two-time Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh, Jagr gave New York a 1-0 lead with 7:10 remaining in the first period. Nylander backhanded a cross-slot pass to the captain, who fired a one-timer from the right faceoff dot past Lehtonen for his 68th career playoff goal, tying Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for 16th place on the all-time list.

"I don't like to score the first goal. I get bad luck," Jagr said. "I scored the first of the season this year and I struggled. I hate that."

Jagr entered the postseason having registered four goals and five assists in his last nine regular-season games.

"He's been good lately," Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist said. "It's good for us. he stepped up his game."

Rozsival doubled the advantage 3:57 later, ripping a one-timer from the top of the left circle into the top right corner of the net during a power play for his first career postseason tally.

Eric Belanger got Atlanta on the board with 59 seconds left in the session, converting a pass by defenseman Niclas Havelid from the right side of the crease for the first playoff goal in Thrashers history.

"We had to feel our way out of it in the start," Thrashers defenseman Andy Sutton said. "We had some guys playing in their first playoff game, myself included. The nerves were there, and then we settled down and moved on."

Hossa restored the Rangers' two-goal bulge at 10:52 of the second by deflecting Tyutin's shot past Lehtonen, but Hnidy drew Atlanta within 3-2 just 87 seconds later with a blast from along the right wing boards.

Nylander scored what proved to be the game-winner with 3:04 left in the period. Petr Prucha took a weak shot from the top of the slot that Lehtonen knocked down with his glove, and Nylander tapped in the loose puck from the left side for his seventh career playoff tally.

"I saw (Lehtonen) kept the puck on the stick," Nylander said. "I went for a rebound and it happened to come out on my side."

After hitting the crossbar late in the second, Dupuis scored less than six minutes into the third following a turnover by rookie defenseman Daniel Girardi to make it a one-goal game. Despite managing just three shots thereafter, the Thrashers threatened late, but Vyacheslav Kozlov hit the outside of the net while alone on the right side with just a few seconds remaining.

"The last 10 minutes is how we have to play for the full 60," Belanger said. "We have to learn from tonight and move on. We cannot get down because we did a lot of good things."

"We need to stay positive and stay together and just focus on being successful," Sutton added.

Lundqvist made 21 saves en route to his first career playoff victory.

"I just tried to battle," the Swede said. "It was a tough game. They are an intense team. ... It was a close game in the end. We battled real hard in front of the net."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 2 2 0 4
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:50
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 1 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    16:47
    ATL - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (NICLAS HAVELID, KEITH TKACHUK)
    19:01
    2ND PRD: NYR -

    Apr 12 9:29 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 9:25 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 4
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - PASCAL DUPUIS 1 (BRAD LARSEN, BOBBY HOLIK) 5:50

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 9:06 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 2 2 4
    ATLANTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:50
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 1 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    16:47
    ATL - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (NICLAS HAVELID, KEITH TKACHUK)
    19:01
    2

    Apr 12 8:39 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 4
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 1 (PETR PRUCHA, THOMAS POCK) 16:56

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 8:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 3
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - SHANE HNIDY 1 (BRAD LARSEN, PASCAL DUPUIS) 12:19

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 8:27 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 3
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - MARCEL HOSSA 1 (FEDOR TYUTIN, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 10:52

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 8:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 2 2
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:50
    NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 1 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    16:47
    ATL - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (NICLAS HAVELID, KEITH TKACHUK)
    19:01
    S

    Apr 12 7:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 2
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (NICLAS HAVELID, KEITH TKACHUK)
    19:01

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 7:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 2
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAL ROZSIVAL 1 (MARTIN STRAKA, JAROMIR JAGR)
    16:47

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 7:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, FEDOR TYUTIN) 12:50

    Rangers vs. ThrashersApr 12 7:32 PM